Friday, August 9, 2019

Navigating the Milestones of Life

One of my friends from high school is moving his parents to an assisted living facility this week.  His mother has dementia issues, so it's been a tough process.  I've been following along on Facebook.

I have memories of going to his house in the summer for a party.  I didn't go to the kinds of high school parties that would get Supreme Court nominees in trouble later.  We sat around rec rooms listening to music and talking.  I can't remember what we talked about.  I remember one party at my friend's house listening to the whole of David Bowie's Let's Dance album and talking to his older sister who was home from college.

Not long after that party we would all scatter off to college ourselves, and if it wasn't for Facebook, I probably wouldn't know about my friend's parents leaving that house where once we listened to New Wave music and talked.

Or maybe that David Bowie album shouldn't really be considered New Wave. It's been decades, and I still can't decide.

I'm also feeling nostalgic at the news that Pizza Hut will be closing most of its dine-in restaurants.  I spent many happy years of my adolescence eating with friends in Pizza Hut restaurants.  I was a vegetarian for many of those years, so Pizza Hut was a good choice in a landscape that didn't have many good choices.

My friend took time out from his parents' move to post a link to the story that gave the news about the closure of Pizza Hut restaurants:

"I have some fond memories of eating at the Pizza Hut on Bearden Hill. Ordering a pizza or two and then going through the salad bar. Good meals out with my family back in the day. Sigh..."
I included this memory on that thread:

I have good memories of that Pizza Hut too--one night coming out to discover that it had started snowing, and I said to Chum Kimsey, "I've never driven in snow before!" She said, "Pretend it's like rain." And so I carefully drove my parents' huge Monte Carlo through the snow, with pizza in our stomachs, a bit of fear, and the exhilaration of successfully navigating in the snow.
And this one:

I seem to recall a group of us that included you getting pizza after a football game once or twice. I didn't much care about football, but I loved having pizza afterwards. I think once you even gave me a ride to the game, back before my parents thought I had enough driving experience to drive at night. Isn't that a quaint idea? That once upon a time I didn't have enough driving experience to drive at night? And I think about my parents, who had more rules for me than many parents today have. It's been poignant for me, reading about your interactions with your folks this week.

Back in those days of Pizza Hut and David Bowie and learning to drive, I could not have imagined the day would come when my friend Chum would be dead of esophageal cancer or that the day would come when a friend would be orchestrating the move of his parents into a facility where they can get the care we need.

I feel like we're too young for this.  I'm guessing that people always do.

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