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July 15, 2024

Exit Strategies

By Tedi Trindle

I turned forty seven this year, and suddenly, my life, what I contribute, how I detract, what I think, is finite. It might hit you in a different year or hit you not at all. But I'm finding that I'm reevaluating everything I've ever done from the perspective that no one will ever know I was here.

*obligatory reference to Grey* He thinks he's in a mid-life crisis at 43 because he's buying a motorcycle. And he may well be, he's always been ahead of the curve.

What I'm trying to do, in my mind, which is where I live, is figure out, first, what I want to do with whatever future I have left, second, understand both the good and the bad things I've done in the past, and third, most importantly, is reconcile all of it into a life well-lived. I've been tremendously blessed by circumstance. I was born, white, in America. My parents were able to generate an income and loved me just enough to let me feel secure, and for me to become educated.

I often think about what I'd like to say to the people I love most if I were on my deathbed. At this moment, I can't quite formulate what I would say to my sons. We have a lifeblood connection, and I like to think words would not suffice. They know how totally loved they are, and I think they respect women entirely because of who I was as a mother.

I have a more difficult, but amazingly transcendent relationship with my daughter. I did not understand her at all from the moment she was born until she reached puberty. She was a beautiful, amazing creation that didn't seem to bear any resemblance to me at all. But we continued to love each other through the years we didn't know why we loved each other, and now, she is my confidant, my strongest supporter, and my friend. How good is that?

Our family is not good with death. We don't have all those philosophies and heartfelt beliefs that allow us to deal with it. When someone dies, it's a shock, a tragedy, a life-changing moment. It's not the natural progression of things. I yearn to understand the natural progression.

But, as a forty-seven year old, even though I can still wear a bikini, I know that my body is getting tired of housing my soul. I'll likely, barring motorcycle accidents, live another forty years, we women are long lived. Still, it makes me think.

Mostly I think about how sad my family will be when I go. That, in itself is a blessing, that, crazy as I am, people still love me. So, I'm probably crazy in a good way. And I mostly worry about what my daughter will wonder about when I'm no longer there to tell her. My boys have their lives and they've never really expressed an interest in my experiences or thoughts to any degree. They're taking life by the horns and living it their own way.

I'm going to write this down in something she can see and share with her family, when she has one, but I want her to know that, if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I was well and entirely loved. I felt accepted from the moment I was created until this moment while I'm typing. I was totally blessed to be a person who was wanted and coddled and catered to my entire life, just because they loved and cared about me. I was wanted.

And, I have been to Paris. That's a euphemism for having lived my life my own way, but it's also literal. I saw Paris for the first time a few years ago, just on a whim. I never expected to be impressed and I never particularly wanted to go there, but I found myself in the area and decided to go, just to see. And I fell in love with the place. Now I totally understand why people have been writing about it or moving there to be there for centuries. I was there one single day. And it really changed my vision about the world from there after.

That's the kind of thing I'd like to be remembered for. I didn't shy away from new experiences. I approached the world with an open mind. When I had a chance to see something that had influenced others, I went and saw it, so I could try to understand.

I'm probably the happiest I have ever been in my life. I have acceptance in every quarter I encounter, I think deep thoughts, I am loved so much I probably don't even appreciate how much. To this very day, I could drop everything I am doing now, and do something else entirely, just because I think it's important. I am a happy woman and if that mythical bus hits me when I hit "submit", well, that's ok.

Article © Tedi Trindle. All rights reserved.
Published on 2005-07-04
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