Being 41

I’m less than four months away from my next b-day. However, I’m still trying to absorb and process being this age.. 41. It’s an age I’ve thought about turning years before it happened. The reason? My maternal great-grandmother passed away at the age of 41. She passed on 30 years before I was born, in June of 1941. She died before any of her grandchildren were born. In spite of these very tragic circumstances, hers is a face I remember seeing very early in life. One of her three daughters, my grandmother, always kept her framed photo nearby. She was a beautiful lady, with a sweet, innocent demeanor. Her smile was not as broad as mine. It was more demure and reserved, with a hint of shyness. Those who knew her have said she was very nice and kind. Her children loved her dearly, and were never the same after her passing. She is a figure we have been fascinated with for decades. Although we did not get to know one another, I am extremely proud to be her great-granddaughter.

There is another person who passed on at the age of 41 which has had an impact upon me. This one I was not related to. It is actress Diana Hyland. If her name is not familiar, head over to Google. I was first introduced to her during the heyday of John Travolta in the late ’70s. She was his girlfriend. Her passing was very recent at the time, so she was often mentioned in books and articles about him. I became more familiar with her when I saw her in reruns of “Eight Is Enough”. She was the Mom in the first season. At the time of her passing in the spring of 1977, she had everything to live for. She had a four year old son, her relationship with John Travolta was solid, she was on a soon-to-be successful TV show. The cast and crew adored her. Her passing devastated them, along with her loved ones. Diana won her first Emmy a few months after her death. She was a terrific actress, who lit up the screen.

I have been wondering more than ever what their lives would have been like had they lived longer. How would my great-grandmother’s relationship with her grandkids have been? How would “Eight Is Enough” been had the character of Joan remained on the show? It would have been so nice had their children had them in their lives much longer. As I prepare to turn another age in a few months, 41 is permanently seared in my mind. While I have felt very blessed to live to reach this period of life, it has also been mixed with an errie feeling quite often.

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~ by kmnnz on January 31, 2013.

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