I am up in the middle of the night writing. Sometimes I can’t sleep and when I can’t sleep I write. I can feel this is probably going to be long, so bear with me. I just happened by this picture and it stirred something in my soul. It made me realize how much I missed my family members who were in Heaven. I remember when we had this photograph taken. Gloria and I had to threaten everyone with excommunication from the family if they did not show up. They must have been afraid of us because everyone showed up. Jim and I had returned from Ohio in 1984 and I had been away since 1965. It was fun to be back and close to my family and able to participate and I initiated a lot of functions that the family had not been doing. Monthly birthdays, summer celebrations, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am not saying that I hosted the party or did all the work, I just came up with the idea and Gloria and Earl usually took it from there and I just told everyone, but I did help with the work. Throwing parties for a large family is a lot of work and expensive. It was a very enjoyable time for our family. Mama always called me her “good time Charlie” because I loved to have fun. It is not that way anymore and I must say, I really, really miss it. Oh I still like to have fun and one of my favorite things to do is laughing. It makes you feel good. Try it sometime. To quote one of my favorite songs from long ago, “Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end”. Seems to me you don’t even realize the passage of time and you don’t even think of the future and it feels like it will be that way forever. Then one day you look up and things have changed and you realize, oh my goodness, things are so different, and in our family the dynamics have changed so much. First, we lost Daddy, then Mama and then our brother, Earl. It also makes you think of your own mortality and you realize that one day, one by one, you and each of your siblings, will be gone but… you thought you would all live forever. Realistically, you realize that’s not possible but it makes me think that I should have paid more attention and enjoyed those moments even more than I did when they were happening. But… you get so caught up in life that you don’t realize all the changes that are occurring all around you. I guess I thought we would all be young forever. Now we are all getting older and having illnesses we never dreamed of. We can no longer do a lot of the things we used to do and it seems as if it happened suddenly and caught us unaware. Now, instead of being the hub of activity, we are sitting on the sidelines watching our children and grandchildren in their “young” phase. It’s like I went to sleep one night and I was young and I woke up the next morning and somehow I had grown older. It’s like the “Old Fairy” paid me a visit in the night. Did you know there is an “Old Fairy”? Well, there is and some night when you are not watching, he/she will creep into your room and sprinkle “Old Dust” all over your body and when you awake the next morning, it’s hard to get out of the bed, the spring in your step is gone and your bones creak. There is no way to escape the “Old Fairy” and if you are fortunate enough to still be on this earth, he will eventually make it into your room. So to fend him/her off, take good care of yourselves, eat right, exercise, stop smoking and lose weight. These are all things I have not done, except for smoking, but I am trying. So hopefully I can hold off the grim reaper for a little while longer. Here’s hoping that the “Old Fairy” does not visit you tonight, but if he/she happens your way, be the best old person you can be. It’s hard but you can do it.