2.19.2013

do glad.

Today not tomorrow, that's what I've been saying.

So, when my wife's busy work/school schedule found her observing in an operating room for the day, babysitting options weren't available and I needed to skip out on work to watch Piper, I made the most of my time out of the office by dropping the car off for a much needed repair and heading to a nearby diner to enjoy a rare Daddy-and-daughter-and-nobody-else breakfast.

Piper Bea settled happily into her pancake, a pickle and a tall cup of chocolate milk.


I sipped coffee and listened to her tell me about whatever popped into her about-to-be-4-year old head.  Sipped, listened and smiled.  Taking full advantage of not being interrupted by her verbose big sister, Piper covered a lot of topics while we sat in our little booth-for-two.  She didn't make me swear to secrecy, but, all the same, I think I'll not share the details as it makes me feel like I alone was invited "in".

As we neared the end of our meals, the television monitor perched in the corner of the room showed the portrait of a woman celebrating her 108th birthday.  My not-what-they-once-were eyes couldn't read her name in the captioning and the sound of the TV was drowned out by our conversation and the crooning of oldies drifting from the overhead speakers...which was fine by me.

One hundred and eight years old.

Can you imagine?  You can't.  I can't.

Trying to imagine brings "today not tomorrow" right back into the discussion.  Perhaps if you make it the whole way to 108 you start believing that you'll never stop ticking and the days'll just go on and on forever.  Maybe that's the fear.

Or the hope.

Or maybe every day feels certain to be the last.

Who knows?  Not you and not me.

I silently wished that woman well and hoped that she was better able than me to make sense of the dizzying ways in which the world has evolved.

In that very same diner, two older (suddenly, mid-70's didn't seem all that old) gentlemen sat poring over a road map.  

Remember those?


I do and you do too.

But, maybe just maybe, our kids won't or at least not outside the context of museums and quaint postcards.  Of course, museums and postcards might not be long for this world either with any and all information available at our fingertips and the mail system, our modern day pony express, likely going the way of, well, the pony express.

I marvel at how much has changed in my lifetime.  Can't even begin to wrap my head around it, actually.  And, despite what my children believe, I haven't been alive all that long.

Here are a couple of the significant events that occurred in the year 1905, the year today's birthday girl was born.  The first forest fire lookout tower went into operation in Greenville, Maine.  Ty Cobb made his professional baseball debut.  A physics journal published the article that unveiled Albert Einstein's E=mc2 equation.  The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the US was founded (it wouldn't officially become the NCAA until 5 years later).

One year earlier work began on Grand Central Station, the Wright brothers took their initial flight, fingerprinting was first introduced as a way to investigate crime and the ice cream cone was invented.  The ice cream cone was invented!

CAN YOU IMAGINE?  You can't and I could drive myself mad trying to...today not yesterday, today not tomorrow.

Piper Bea and I left the diner, she with cookie in hand, and we found the car repaired and waiting for us.

As we drove home, we passed by a beautiful restored farmhouse that I recalled residing in a different location just a few years earlier.  A construction/restoration group had plucked the once ailing structure from the ground, ratcheted it up onto a wheeled platform and towed it to a new, more idyllic, perch a few miles down the road.


I CAN imagine, but only because I saw it with my very own stunned eyes.  Amazing and certainly unthinkable not all that long ago.  I'm betting an undertaking such as this would have qualified as science-fiction back in 1905.

And I'm guessing "science-fiction' was hardly a household term at the time.  I should visit a museum to find out for sure.  Or, wait, I could just ask my phone...yes, I could actually speak into my phone and just wait one second for the answer.

Geez.

I have a 50-mile race coming up on Saturday, the FebApple Frozen 50 in Maplewood, New Jersey.  It seems a daunting undertaking this early in the year, especially with sickness and subsequent inactivity not too far behind me.

However, it doesn't seem nearly so daunting when held up against waking, rising and making one's way through the day, every damn day, for 108 years.

The woman in that photo was smiling and it was a beautiful, happy-to-be-alive smile.  Could've been taken a few years ago, of course, but that hardly tarnishes the message if she was, what, 105?

And maybe it was that smile that jarred something in my holes-punched-in-it memory about the number 108.  I did a little digging (you bet I employed my phone) and discovered that it is a Harshad number, an integer that is divisible by the sum of its digits (1 + 0 + 8 = 9 and 108 divided by 9 is 12).  That's a curiosity but what I found more interesting was the fact the "Harshad" is derived from two Sanskrit words, harsa and da.  Harsa means "joy" and da means "give".

Joy giver?

Seems too good to be true for the sake of this story, but it goes a long way toward explaining that lovely smile and the unmistakable happiness I felt in seeing it.

So, 50 miles?  A hundred?  No problem.  A blink of the eye really.  A joy.

Glancing at Facebook upon arriving home, I discovered a typo in a friend's status update.  She was sharing her relief at sneaking in a run before expected freezing rain began to fall.  "So glad" was accidentally replaced with "Do glad".

DO GLAD!

I love it.

I turn 39 this year.  Piper Bea will be 4 in April and her sister turns 6 just two weeks later.  People are celebrating 108 years on this planet.

What a gift.

How could you not do glad?  You can't.  I can't.

Do glad and do it today...AND tomorrow.

4 comments:

  1. Nice thoughts; enjoyed this as a runner, father, and just as a human being. Have fun in NJ!

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    Replies
    1. Appreciate that, Adam! Thanks for reading.

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  2. I just LOVE this, Leon!!!! You truly are one of a kind and I feel blessed to know you. DO GLAD...I'll do it today, tomorrow and for as many days that make up the years I have on this planet...108 perhaps?

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  3. Atta girl, Jo...but, seriously, let's hope we don't make it all the way to 108. I'm tired already.

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