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HONORING MY MOTHER | My sixty-seventh heaven

By Icoy San Pedro

OKAY, so they say that practically everything is just made up of a set of numbers piled on top of one another. That’s huge. Just as the language of the cosmos is easily a matrix of ones and zeros, the material world which includes us, are likewise nothing but merely complex sets of binary combinations in constant stages of interacting with each other. Amazing!

I have just recently reached the age of sixty-seven. For comparison, that’s not akin to a Jedi degree of expertise or to an advanced Jumanji level. On the contrary, it’s not even close enough. To have you know, in Maths, 67 ranks high as the 19th prime number. But once applied to a person’s age however, it does not seem fit to be branded as “prime” anymore. In many ways, it more suitably befits the descriptive ‘over the hill’ tag commonly used by most when referring to the elderly. Boohoo. While beholders like the younger ones look at over 50s, much less the over 60s as walking antiques, the old farts themselves perceive their aging as merely a case of slowing down, or slow burn. Who cares, we’ve done away with the awkwardly self-conscious posturing of youth and much wiser because of that.

That is when the call of the wild, once clear in its high-pitched tone, becomes less and less attractive once one has begun to taste and experience the comforts of the pasture. A runner-friend, on the other hand, once had a cruel analogy for this particular life stage. In marathon-speak, he calls it as finally hitting the wall. However, he softens a bit and retracting that as long as one has prepared well enough prior to reaching the state, the pasture stage will not seem to be a really bad idea after all.

I’m just trying to be holistic about the whole thing; after all, not all seniors enjoy their day in the sun, so the pasture might just as well be a matter of perspective. In all of sixty-seven, my outlook at life must have changed multiple times, and you could say I’ve worn out many sets of eyeglasses. This one I wear now just says plainly “I exist” and that for the moment is all that matters. 

Many years ago, when our now-late father could still manage to walk up to the front of the family gate, he would just sit on his folding golf stool and watch cars and passers-by go past. Even when he was confined to a wheelchair, he still insisted to be parked there until it was too dark to see, or when it rained. Watching him, I used to think if only one could cram all of life’s experiences, good and bad, trials and successes, into a compact and tangible thing that could fit in one’s palms, its image might as well be like dad sitting near that gate. Complete, content, and resigned perhaps, but nevertheless, watching the parade go by. I’m sixty-seven? There is this saying that life begins at forty. From here onwards, I am sticking to that maxim. I am therefore only twenty-seven. Kierkegaard would be proud.



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