Hello me of 1959, congratulations you’ve just been born and thing are going to be a little rough for the next ten years. When you have doubts just know you are going to be hanging out with Grandma Alma for a few days, often. Sometimes for longer for years to come. Pay attention, you will learn more from this one woman than almost anyone else in the rest of your life. When things get really bad just read this:
You will have a great life, it doesn’t seem like it right this minute but trust me it all works out somehow. Mostly.
Hello me of 1969 – It’s been bad but now it’s going to get better. You’ll be safe, warm and fed. Someone who actually loves you will be watching over you. She won’t be able to protect you from everything but she does her best. Get ready though, you only have seven years then you’re on your own again for a couple of years.
Hello me of 1979. Bet you didn’t see that coming did you. A year of being on your own, working and finishing school then the Navy. You met a great guy. It will last a LONG time even though he will drive you absolutely nuts on occasion. When you wonder if it’s all worth the work, yes it is. Oh, big news, you are a new mom. Don’t worry about getting it wrong, you will. And you won’t. Then you will again. That’s just the way it works.
Hello me of 1989 – Yeah, yeah. You think I should have told you more of what was coming. Wouldn’t have mattered, change one thing – something else gets out of whack. We’ve learned that already haven’t we? Try not to worry, you are still married to that great guy in 10 years and you don’t actually do bodily harm to your teenage daughter.
Keep your head down, keep moving forward. Some days just happen then there are days with coffee and cookies on the porch. Focus on the coffee days. Time takes care of most of the rest.
Hello me of 1999 – And you thought 1979 was a surprise? Just say the following out loud – Wife, mother, grandmother. Go ahead, read it again if you need to. Still a wife (same guy), mother (no bodily harm, told you so) and now a grandmother. Remember the person who would love you from 1969? Be glad you took the time to be there, talk on the phone, share letters. Not enough time or sharing but you get what you get. So I bet you are wondering – clear sailing from now on right?
Do you hear me laughing hysterically from 18 years from now?
Hello me of 2009. Yep still here, going strong. You and that same guy are still working it out every day. Thirty years of getting mad, getting hurt feelings…getting on with it. Notice I didn’t say getting over it, that takes longer sometimes but getting on with it everyday gets you down the road.
Daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter living their own adventure now.
Yes, you still miss your mom and yes, now you miss your brother too. Life goes up and down just like it always did. Hold on to the important things, know you have some really great stuff coming and, yes even some more stuff that just sucks.
Hello me of 2019. Sixty. Does it look like you thought it would? Find that handwritten note and see how the story changed. The list of people you miss gets a little longer every decade. That list of people you worry about stays about the same, in number at least. Someone may jump off the worry list then someone else jumps on, etc., etc., etc. You retired early and, thankfully, never regretted it once in the first 18 months. How is that going? Are you still finding ways to stay busy and active?
Keep moving. Your grandmother told you that when she was in her 90’s, good advise – follow it for the next ten years then check back with us so we can see how it’s going.
Oh yeah, same guy right? Kids and granddaughter still top on the worry list. Keep trying to be a good friend and neighbor. Still miss your mom, now you miss your mom-in-law. You never really get over your brother just accept it for what it is.
In spite of all life has given and taken away it’s still about focusing on the coffee days, laughing as much as you can and not taking yourself too seriously. We are writing this today as a reminder. Send a note ahead to us at seventy just in case we need a reminder then would you?
Thanks, Love Me.