Once an Adult Twice a Child

Flag was still thereOnce an adult twice a child” is a phrase we all have possibly heard over our years of living. In living long enough to watch our grandparents or parents turn back to their childhood days, whether visiting them in the nursing home or their home place, the time and place they are revisiting inside their minds are visible for us to witness. I must admit thinking deeply about this “Once an adult twice a child” did not grab my attention until today.  An inspiring understanding flooded my mind and into my heart, opening up a beautiful sight of warm sunshine beaming down into a secret valley guarded by mountains on both sides. A place hidden where only an airplane could fly over and see if anyone was looking.

Opening up our memory banks we can all go back into the videos of our minds and see times we all have turned to things in our past for the situation we are going through in the present. Starting with a time you were dating another person steadily enjoying having someone to share your days. Do you remember the moment when you were alone facing the break-up that occurred? Do you remember the place or places you wanted to go? I found myself going back to sad and slow songs I had heard in the past that connected to the feelings I was presently experiencing. I wanted to go places that my wounded heart and spirit could recover. This is reaching into what little past we have accumulated to comfort the situation we are facing in the present. Do you remember a time that you were so angry you went somewhere away from others to catch your breath and to think? We all have memories collected that become a storage house of choices for the moods, thoughts, and situations we are presently feeling.

My Dad was a World War II Navy man veteran. He came back from the war and went to college to be a teacher and a coach. He played sports in college. He courted a blond local girl, fell in love and married her. He dedicated his life to supporting his family, being a good example to all his students and players. He was blessed with three children of whom he was given the chance to teach and coach them during their high school years. His life became very busy from those single years to the married years.

When dedicated to your family almost all thoughts and efforts of yourself are put on hold. You lose a little bit of being in touch with all the changing songs, TV shows, and latest fads. Working hard, paying bills, and supplying the needs of your children and spouse absorbs a great deal of your personal time.

My Dad waited for the last child to graduate from high school so that he could retire. His love for teaching and interacting with young people carried on for a few more years at other schools until he truly retired. Years went by as he and my mother enjoyed each other working in the yard, woods, and traveling to nearby places. My Dad developed Alzheimer’s disease. The disease slowly took my Dad’s memories and normal thinking process. My Mom spent five years of taking care of him daily. My Dad referred to my Mom as “That Girl“. It was not until after his death a college mate called to wish condolences to my Mom. My Mom told the classmate about Dad only remembering her as “That Girl“. The classmate began to explain on the phone this is what my Dad would tell his college buddies that he was going over to the nearby college to see “That Girl“. My Dad had the college bus driver to stop to pick up “That Girl” on the way back from a game so she could sit with him on the way back to the college. My Dad suffering from Alzheimer was allowed to lock onto a memory in the days of his past of a healthy young man in love with a beautiful girl during his present suffering times. (By the way I hate Alzheimer’s disease and many other diseases.)

Those with years upon them will focus on the memories of past in the effort to relive them in the present blocking out terrible things they see in the present. “Once an adult twice a child” is clear to me of its purpose and origin. We all will look to a time in our past as a shield to what we are facing in the present in portions. We will lock onto something pleasant for the unpleasant things in the present. We will long for the time with wishful thinking if it could only be like it was before this day of suffering. We will research for the songs we dearly enjoyed with the new generations around us seeing an adult with “Once an adult twice a child” syndrome.

My Dad passed away in 2009, but I can imagine from some of the black and white photos where he was in the past courting my Mom. Those were the days he loved the most. I hope all have a second childhood as sad free, loneliness fee and pain free as possible. Have a great day in-spite of what comes your way.

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