Recently I realized an astounding fact: My mother was 38 when she had me.
Ok, so I knew that. But, I’m 32. That means that my mother lived an entire life before she had me, and then some, and then more if you include my toddler years. There was just so much more to her. And this has become important as I’ve been thinking about the concept of death and life in regards to my own. There’s just such a huge amount of life ahead of me and I have a really hard time grasping that fact.
Because when someone like that dies – the giant of your universe, the one which the whole solar system seems dependent on – it makes you think about your own mortality. A lot. A lot, a lot. It also makes you think about what the point is, what the purpose could be.
In John Wick 3 (corny, I know) I had this really weird realization. When the third one first came out, I couldn’t watch in theatres. It came out days away from her birthday, at a time where the concept of death in movies had me gasping on the floor, crying, shaking, and wondering what death exactly was. (yeah, that took a year to get over). Finally watching the third movie, I had a real connection with the following quote.
The Elder: So tell me, Jonathan, why do you wish to live?
John Wick: My wife. Helen. To remember her. To remember us.
The Elder: So you seek to live for the memory of love?
John Wick: At least a chance to earn it.
I had to pause the movie for a second, because the concept was so unheard of to me… I could try to stay alive and live a long life so that I could live by the memory of my mother? The memory of what she wanted me to be? That I had a chance to at least earn the life she wanted?
I’ve been dwelling on this a lot the past week or so. I mentioned it to my therapist. I told him that it was the first time I had really connected with the idea of this second half (or more) of life that I could possibly have in front of me. Not just surviving just to survive, but to actually life in memory of someone. To strive to be the person she wanted me to be. There’s just so, so many decades in front of me and I hadn’t realized it before.
We’ll see where this goes.