Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year


I read somewhere about a dime store that had closed due to the owner's death. The store sat untouched for 40 years until someone rediscovered it. When they went in to explore, it was exactly as it had been 40 years earlier. The products were still on the shelves, nothing had been moved or taken. It was a snapshot of another era and time.

That story has always fascinated me. Once upon a time I thought it would be fascinating to be an archeologist. That store represented the ultimate in an archeological dig to me. No digging required! I wonder what it would have been like to visit that store? What items were on the shelves? What were the prices? What products were still there that were no longer made? Would I discover items that were selling for exorbitant amounts on ebay and listed as "vintage"?

I'd love to simply stroll up and down the aisles to see what was there. Time tiptoes away from us so quietly that we don't notice it's gone until it's too late. Can we remember when the label of our favorite cleanser changed to look more modern? When exactly did we get the new scanning cash registers? One day we go shopping to find that something we need is no longer made. How is it we realize when something becomes "old fashioned"? Piece by piece, yesterday is replaced and becomes "today".

I met my husband 22 years ago on New Year's Eve. Thinking about that this morning, I realized that we have landed upon "today" and I sometimes wonder how we got here. I can remember what I was wearing that night but wonder what became of those clothes. I can remember the people we were with that night but haven't seen them for years. I also realize that my parents were probably at their own party that night and they were completely different then. They both now have dementia and I wish I'd understood 22 years ago that their minds were not going to last forever. I would have tried to appreciate them more, tried to dig deeper into their memories before they disappeared so quickly it took my breath away.

22 years ago my dad was probably the life of the party and my mother was probably displaying her quick wit to the other partygoers. They were able to get into a car and drive themselves wherever they wanted. They were planning for retirement in a few years and looking at maps and travel brochures. My dad's greatest joy now is candy and his regularly scheduled meals at a group home. My mother is living alone and each time I visit her it's like another little piece of who she is has been pinched off.

Yes, time tiptoes away from us so quietly that we don't realize it's gone until we look back and compare what was and what is.

Happy New Year to all, Happy New Year Mom and Dad. I miss you.

4 comments:

Terri said...

What a beautiful sentiment! You made me travel back to the night I met my husband of almost 25 years, and I thank you for that! Happy New Year!

Chelle said...

I love the way you write! You are right, time does tiptoe away. I enjoy your blog and your designs!

Barbara said...

very touching

I think I'll go call my dad now. I just talked to my mom. Parents should last forever and never change and always be there to share our lives.

Gina E. said...

You have a wonderful way with words, Deborah. I work in the aged care field, as well as volunteer, so I can relate closely to what you are saying about your parents. I just wish everyone would take more time to be around their elderly parents and appreciate their memories and thoughts. You obviously had that effect on Barbara!

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