Today is August 28! Summer is almost over and I am getting ready to go back to work next Wednesday. And although I didn’t travel much further than Atlantic City this summer, I did, as anticipated, read a lot of books.
One of my favorites was Jesmyn Ward’s Sing Unburied Sing, a story about a young African American woman who is traveling with her two children across rural Mississippi to pick up their white father who has just been released from prison. Ward’s story is beautiful and haunting and as current as today’s headlines.
Another book I read was the Pulitzer Prize-winning Less by Andrew Sean Greer, which is a story about a gay author, Arthur Less, who decides to go on a trip around the world in an attempt to escape both the wedding of his ex-lover and his next birthday – his 50th!
Speaking of birthdays today is August 28 and the fifty-fifth anniversary of the March on Washington. I know that because of another book I read, Behind the Dream, which is a look at the events leading up to that March as experienced by Clarence B. Jones, friend, lawyer, and confidante to Dr. King who, if many of us have a way of turning into a god, Jones has a way of making human. Jones is also the man who smuggled MLK's "Letter" from the Birmingham jail in April of 1963.
Anyway, today is August 28 and the reason I keep mentioning the date is that in two days I will be celebrating a milestone birthday of my own, which reminds me of a conversation I had earlier this year.
“Mom-mom,” my oldest grandson asked, “how old are you?”
Michael was silent for a second or two, and then, “Mom-mom, I just did the math. You’re 76.”
“I am?” I said. And then, “Oh, my God you’re right! How did that happen?”
Which leads me to wonder how Greer could write an entire book about turning 50 when the double digits looming ahead of me seem like two knighted sentinels daring me to approach.
But after thinking about it, I have decided that I will approach 77, and I will conquer it, and then – OMG after 77 comes 78!
My second book, Dear Elvis, a memoir about grief and loss, can be found at amzn.to/2uPSFtE