(Please be aware that 80-something is now distributed by Follow It. It may look a bit different, but it’s still me.)
Years ago, when my father was suffering from terminal lung cancer, Peter and I flew to Florida with Seth to visit him. I am embarrassed to report that the most vivid memory I have of that visit was how frightened our toddler was by his grandfather’s dry hacking cough.
As a young adult, I am sure that I was sympathetic to my parents’ challenges. I’d be aware of the things that they were struggling with, but I usually could put them on the back burner. But I am also sure that they never outweighed my concern with myself. I don’t think a younger generation can know what it’s like to be old.
I heard the great trumpeter Wynton Marsalis describe a disagreement he had with a very young man. His memorable words:
“I’ve been your age; you’ve never been mine.”