Today I applied for Medicare, and yesterday the world lost the Queen of Soul. Two completely different events, one extremely less relevant, but necessary, and the other so relevant and sad, and so seemingly, unnecessary. Here’s the bridge…we age, but we think about that fact in a context that explains how things happen in time, our time. Aretha Franklin’s death makes us stop in our tracks, and remember how old we were when we heard her and fell in love with her and her music, and her grasp on telling the story of loss and love and hardship and becoming powerful, when folks were trying to silence the voices of the oppressed. We, the baby boomers, have lived through a lot, and the music of our generation still defines us, and the history of change. Every generation has those power houses of music who brought us along with them. Aretha was one of those transcendent beings. She was on my bucket list of musicians who I wanted to see in a live performance. My FHB and I had tickets for a show in Boston that she was scheduled to perform, this past June. It was cancelled at the last minute, and now we have a clearer understanding of how illness takes the best laid plans.
The clock is ticking much louder today. The mundane mandate that suggests (or be penalized) that three months or less prior to my 65th birthday, I must apply for Medicare, even if retirement is not in the forefront of my thinking. It is a reminder that, at some point, in the future, it will be. In my head, I remain a teenager at times, a 34 year old mother of two, a newlywed twice, a mother-in-law twice, and a grandmother twice, all in the same head. It gets busy in there. Hard to fathom, but yet, reality bellows…” YOU ARE GETTING OLDER”. We go through a lot of gains in life and then there are the losses. We consider the people who aren’t with us, and they then remain fixed at the age they died, in our memories. We are grateful to have those memories, and then we hope that we grow older to make new memories.
Our loft was filled with music today. We watched and listened to hold those sounds in our hearts. I teared up and remembered. She was a force of nature, that Queen of Soul. Thank you Aretha for who you are and for showing us the way. Your voice and music are immortal. Peace to you and love to your family for allowing us to sharing you, and your fierce musical passion with the world. It is a big deal and so are you. .