I admit it. I am middle age. I will be 50 in two years. I fully expect to live until I am 100. I will also admit that I don't stay up all night anymore. I cannot lift as many servers as I used to be able to without being sore for a couple of days after. I have gotten thicker in the mid-section. I drink too much coffee, probably too much scotch and do not exercise as much as I should, but none of that is a surprise.
But I do not feel middle aged. Now I am not sure what middle age is supposed to feel like, as I have only experienced it once, and I am still experiencing it, but I do not feel it. I am certainly not one of those guys you see on television suffering from the myriad of ailments that supposedly afflict those of us in this generation. At least, until yesterday I did not feel it.
Then I received this:
It is with great sadness that I share the news that TCS alumnus and long-serving faculty member, Bruce Grandfield ’70, died suddenly this morning when out for a walk.
Bruce Grandfield was one of my teachers at Trinity College School. He was also an Old Boy. And he was only fifteen years older than I am, as well as my fellow classmates. I remember him as an active member of the school, both inside and outside of the classroom. He was vigorous. And while I had not had contact with him lately, I do not doubt that he was still very active. Heck, he was still middle age!
I know that I am now of an aged when those I knew, especially those who were my teachers, my mentors, those I looked up to, will begin to die. It is the natural way of things. But that does not mean that their passing will happen without notice or without serving to make those of us who knew them feel, just perhaps, a little bit older.
I know my fellow Old Boys will stand with me and raise a glass to Mr. Grandfield, and extend our condolences to his family. And remember that life may be fleeting. But that it does not have to be feared.