I crossed a threshold recently, and it was very odd indeed.
The crossing was nothing of my own doing, but was thrust upon me whether I wanted to cross it or not.
Some close, longtime friends invited my wife and I to the wedding of their daughter. Nothing odd about that, it’s just a wedding, right?
That’s what I thought for the weeks leading up to the happy event. Just another wedding where two people are joined as one, till death do they part etc.
Heading to the ceremony I didn’t give the event much thought until I saw her walking down the aisle. Whoa, hold on, wait a minute here, I have known this beautiful bride since she was two years old and now she is getting married and could very likely be a mom herself in the not-too-distant future.
I did not feel old, but let’s say, mature. Yeah, that’s a good word – mature. Nothing wrong with being mature. Not that there is anything wrong with being old, either. In fact, I hope to be old myself one day, very, very old if I have any say in the matter.
So watching this young woman enter the next phase of life made me face reality that no matter how much I protest, I am becoming, er, mature.
The more mature I become, the more physically active I force myself to be. Sure I tell myself it is not an attempt to harness what little youthful energy I have remaining, but deep down I know I am attempting to pull a fast one on Father Time. Problem is, at my age the only thing that is fast about me is my morning trip to the lavatory.
The ironic part is, when I was in my 20s and had lots of energy, a flat stomach and the physical stamina to participate in sports, I could have cared less.
I was active in my teen years, but in my 20s I became a lump on the couch with all the physical ambition of a sloth on valium.
I started to get active again in my 30s and continue to do so as I enter the latter half of my 40s. However the illusion of youth is harder and harder to hold on too, especially when you see a little kid suddenly become a young woman wearing a white dress standing next to a guy in a tuxedo in front of a church full of people.
In my eyes, she is still that little kid, but in her eyes, the eyes of her now-hubby and the eyes of her friends they are all grown up.
And when I was her age, I was all grown up as well. I remember just how grown up I felt when I got married and not once did I give so much as a sideways thought of my parents feeling, um, mature.
I have been to several weddings in my adult years, but they were for friends who were getting married, or for a niece who was tying the knot.
But this time, things were different. For the first time in the history of my being on this planet, I was a friend of the bride’s mom and dad, and not the bride.
I can remember seeing friends of my parents at my wedding, but never gave it a thought. Now I was the friend and suddenly I felt very old.
There, I said it. What choice do I have? I cannot claim my youth is still intact after watching this little kid get married.
As I watched the wedding ceremony and the reception, I realized just how many years I have accumulated that I can look back upon.
I looked at my own wedding, birth of my children and watched as the days ticked by without any concern for the fact I do not want them to go so quickly.
Since I entered the agreement of holy matrimony 23 years ago, the time has passed in the blink of an eye and soon my own kids will be walking down the aisle, when just the other day they were only two years old.
Many years ago, a mature person told me, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
I don’t think I fully appreciated that saying until I saw her walking down the aisle and realized just how right they were.