Okay. But is s/he dead?

My kids have always had an odd concept of time and death. Or maybe it’s just an odd concept of time. And curiosity about death.

Let me start with saying that I’m one of those moms who likes to talk to her kids constantly. We will talk about anything. Literally anything. We have had some of the best conversations in the car since the oldest of my kids was going back and forth to preschool.

Music has always been something we’ve shared and talked about.

And I’m shaking my head with a smirk on my face as I write this, but every single time I would say, “HEY! This song is from when I was a teenager!” At least one of my kids would say, “Okay. Is he/she or are they dead?”

I have no clue what makes them think that a) that question is appropriate or b) that I’m old enough that every single artist/group that was around when I was a teen could possibly be dead.

It’s now been about 10 years since this question first started and it just hasn’t stopped, but at least now the kids chuckle when they ask it because they know I get flustered.

My oldest now loves “Jesse’s Girl” by Rick Springfield (so do I, as I did his guest appearance on a cable show recently – WOW he looks GREAT still!). She’s find the song on her iPod, press play, say, “I know you love this song, too, mom. He’s not dead, right?” Then smile at me.

No, honey. He’s not dead. And he has a nice ass, I think to myself. But I do tell her that he’s still hot even in his 60s (gasp! I AM old!).

But, yes, Elvis is dead. A fact we talked about ad nauseam when we drove by Graceland last summer.

We’ll watch older movies together and I will has a sense of sadness even when watching Star Wars and having to admit that, yes, Sir Alec Guinness is indeed dead. Big sigh. Yes, half of stars from Young Frankenstein are dead, too.

That’s a sad dose of reality. Thanks kids.

I patiently will wait until they have kids of their own. Then, when the perfect moment comes, I will whisper in my grandkids’ ears (you know – 15 or so years from now), “Ask your mom/dad if _____ is dead.”

It all comes full circle. HA!

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Patricia J Grace

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