It was a Christmas gathering. I, as usual had to dance to requested music. I think it was along the lines of ‘Hey Mickie’ or ‘Footloose’. Something very upbeat. While I don’t recall the actual tune, I do remember dancing as though tomorrow may not exist. From the hidden dining room, I heard my brother-in-law ask, “Is Lesley dancing?” and I wondered how he knew and at the same time, knew how he knew. I am prone to dancing, laughing, and living it up because indeed tomorrow or next year may not exist and then what? Will I have lived my life with regret? Will I have wasted away opportunities to embrace life to its fullest on any or every ‘occassion’.
This all led to me explaining (which I don’t usually do), why I needed to always seize the moment. I explained to my young niece that my whole childhood family had died and at relatively young ages. I was fast approaching the youngest death (58, my father), and doubted I would reach the oldest age (my mother 79). In between is my brother and sister who both passed early in life. So what made me so special that I could believe I was in any way more endowed with genetics that would take me into old age beyond them?
My niece (15) , much to her mother’s dismay, whipped out her handi-dandi calculator to provide the median average of the age I should die according to the information I had provided. I took it all in stride, but it did stick with me. The age she came up with was 68 – I now reflect on the deaths of David Bowie, Keith Emerson, Maurice White, Paul Kantner, Glenn Frey, Mic Gillette, Dale Griffin … and those are only 2016 deaths of my friends – the friends I grew up with and the musicians I admired.
I am headed somewhere with this. Bear with me.
The other week, I was driven to contemplate my future. I recalled a memory where my daughter told me she would buy me a house by the ocean, out east, in Nova Scotia. She knew it was a dream of mine. It was a sweet, sweet gesture which I took with a grain of salt. There is an age that must produce beautiful, pure, unselfish gifts and she had reached it, just as I did with my mother as I pledged to become a nurse so that I could administer her injections (B12). With that thought came a news article, (which is one of the very the reasons I have not yet completed my novel!), that told of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and their willingness to take US citizens to help their economy. I was compelled to search for ocean front properties to move to immediately, if not sooner as I had very few years left according to the calculation!
And lo and behold I found a place. Ocean in the front yard, mountains in the rear.
And I pictured myself there. Book in hand. Pen and paper. Maybe an easel. Solid peace and harmony. Nothing but the ocean air and a soft cushion on the chair. Gazing, dreaming, remembering days gone by with a smile on my face and love filling my heart as the salt gathers on my lips and the roar of the ocean and the wind fills my ears. And for a time, I would be more alive than all my years combined. And tomorrow, I could die, knowing all I could do, I did, and all I wanted to do, I tried. No regrets. No sorrow. No fear. I would be ready here. And I’ll think to myself – What a Wonderful World.
Lesley Fletcher is a writer (freelance, books, content, lyrics,stage plays) as well as a visual artist specializing in monoprints. To learn more about her please visit the tabs here on WordPress or her website at http://www.LesleyFletcher.com
To view other books by Lesley, have a look at her author profile on Amazon.