Monthly Archives: September 2014

Old

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Old. I’m feeling old lately. Not the number –the number never bothered me. It’s the life experiences that are getting me. I have a son who is a senior in high school. He’ll be going away to college next year. WITHOUT ME! Also – have you looked into tuition costs lately? Don’t. If you’re my age, it will kill you.

I find myself looking at everything he does right now as his last. His last first day of school. His last first halftime performance. His last bus painting. His last homecoming, etc. It helps that I am busy (I’m doing the Christmas musical again (and Emily got the lead this year – yay!), plus I am chaperoning band activities, plus driving everybody everywhere. Burt in those precious few minutes of free, alone time I have (usually in the car), I find myself getting wrapped up in the overwhelming emotion and worry of all of it. To the point of physical symptoms – near panic attacks, where I waver back and forth between OMG, he’s graduating! He’s going away to college! Will he be safe? How will we pay for this? These, I know, are normal worries. But in my warped, obsessive mind, they build and turn into – OMG I’m old and my life is almost over! I DON’T WANT TO DIE! WAAAAAAHHHHH!

It’s about as fun and attractive as you are imagining.

I don’t think it helps that my baby is in her last year of elementary school. I’m not ready for middle school. They have boobs on middle school. I’m not ready for boobs. Or dates. Or hormones. Elementary school has enough drama. Hold me!

And I think losing my grandma recently is contributing. I mean – grandmas die – it’s normal. It wasn’t so much ME losing my GRANDMA that is bothering me, it’s MY MOM losing her MOTHER. I think you can subconsciously think – my mom still has her mother, therefore she must be pretty young still, therefore *I* am practically a baby! Then you realize that if your parents are old enough to lose their parents of totally natural causes, then your parents are aging. That they are mortal. That you are again and mortal. Fuck this getting old shit.

However, the one way getting older is a win is technology. My generation is pretty technologically savvy. Maybe not s much as the kids who have never known a world without mind-blowing technology, but we were there when I happened. We can handle it. The kids don’t get that, though. They think that we are idiots when it comes to technology. Just like we thought our parents were stupid about new things. But what I have discovered is that what we thought was stupidity was actually Parenting 101. Listen up, kids, because I am going to let you in on a little secret:

You only think your parents suck at technology. It turns out we’re actually pulling a fast one on you. We can sit on the couch and eat a cookie, while we call you in to hook up the blueray or set up the new computer, or update our new phone. And all we have to do in exchange is accept a little ribbing about how old we are. GOOD TRADE!  And now that you know, don’t go pouting around about it like babies. Because when WE were kids, we had to get up and walk all the way across the room to change the channel every time our dad decoded to see what else is on (and dads always care about what ELSE is on). You’re getting off easy. You’ll get the same privilege when you’re my age.

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Christopher M. Panatier

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I didn’t know Christopher M. Panatier. I had never even heard his name until I heard it read along with 2,965 others. And though I know I heard it read, I don’t know that I really even took notice of it. 2,966 is a lot of names. It’s especially a lot of names when we’re talking about people who lost their lives.

Christopher Panatier was 36 on that day. Ten years younger than I am now. Many, many years younger, I’m sure, than anyone ever imagined they would lose him. Christopher was a foreign currency trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. I imagine he left for work that day in the towers thinking the worst thing he would deal with was traffic, or irritable clients, or a busy day. Instead, he – along with almost 3,000 others, lost his life in the one of the worst tragedies we have seen in this country.

Christopher was a husband, a father, a son. He married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn, and they had two children, Annie and Christopher. His children were only 6 and 4 when they lost him. Too young to lose their father. Especially to lose him that way. Too young to even understand how something like that could happen. But really, there is no age, no amount of knowledge or wisdom that could ever make sense of what happened that day.

Everyone who talks about Christopher seems to mention what an amazing, adventurous, and funny man he was. People were drawn to him.

So even though I didn’t know Christopher, I am remembering him along with the other innocent victims of the September 11th 2001 attacks. He was a good man, a good husband, a good father, and a good friend. Because of that, his legacy lives on.

He will be remembered not only for how he died, but for how he lived.

This post is a part of Project 2,966. Go there to see more tributes.