Kathy's New Book:
Life is a Kaleidoscope
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Forever Young At Heart

In a corner of every middle-aged soul lives the enchanting memory of those impressive, coming of age years. Those 'Glory Days,' of which Bruce Springsteen so eloquently sings about, live there forever young, forever innocent. Though I still may feel 18 at heart, one look in the mirror quickly sets me straight. It hasn't been easy but I've finally come to terms with the fact that gravity is no longer on my side. I am no longer a teen-ager but, rather, a mother with teen-agers of her own. And, like my mother before me, I have adopted a habit surely attributed to old age

Every morning, as I wait for the coffee to brew, I glance across the obituary pages of the daily paper, looking for names I might recognize. One morning a wave of nostalgia washed over me at the sight of a name that hadn't been a part of my vocabulary for over thirty years. There it was, in black and white, the name of my very first love.

Throughout the years I had, at times, wondered whatever happened to him - the handsome young man responsible for butterflies to flutter in my stomach at the mere sight of him, and who unknowingly caused my heart to skip beats when the phone would ring and it would be him!

Those were the days of holding hands, and the shy anticipation of first kisses that told the tale of naive, young love. It was a time when girlfriends became each other's best defense between the break-ups and the make-ups. Girlfriends could sing, in perfect harmony, the words to all the songs of the Jackson 5, back when Michael was just one of the band. "I Want You Back" and "One More Chance" were, more often than not, sung through the tears of high school age heartache while, "I'll Be There" was passionately crooned as a tribute to the loyalty of our idealistic youth.

Word for word, I can still sing every one of those golden oldies by heart, just as I can almost taste the savory fried shrimp my friend Ginny and I use to order from a fast food place called the "Chicken Coop". Those wonder years of high school are buried deep in the past, but the emotions accrued will be forever frozen in time.

I have raised a family and have celebrated over three decades with my loving husband, my soul mate who is the love of my life. But, in the privacy of my kitchen that morning I was suddenly 17 again, as memories were brought to mind by a familiar name among the dearly departed.

I never knew what kind of man he grew up to be, or what he did for a living, or even if he had been as fortunate as me to have found the contentment I have found. In my memory he would forever be the 17-year-old football player that captivated my young heart with his boyish good looks and unassuming charm.

Life goes on as we find ourselves traveling through the journey of life, from one season of emotion to the next. There really are a million miles between the starry-eyed dreams of teen-agers and the mindful reality of middle age. But at one time or another we all have opportunities to reflect on those unforgettable times in our lives. Maybe it's the twinkle in teen-age daughter's eyes when she speaks of someone special, that ignites a mother's own unfettered glory days. Or, quite possibly, it happens that a gray haired mom will find reason to remember the exuberance of her own youth while exercising an old folk's habit of glancing upon the obituary section of the morning paper.