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Archive for August, 2012

King Me!

When I am riding my bicycle alone on bicycle paths, I often listen to music on my Ipod.  I usually get to the trail and then decide which artist I am going to listen to first while riding my bike.  My bike rides often last more than one album and my music choice of the second and sometimes third album usually comes easy, kind of a spinoff of my first selection.  My music selections can motivate me to ride my bicycle faster and farther.  My selections can also bring about feelings of calmness, relaxation, thoughts of just letting the world go its way while I go mine.  Then, other times the music I listen to can lead to troublesome thoughts and ideas that result in a less than relaxing or enjoyable ride.

Several months ago prior to a ride, I was going through my music wondering what to listen to while cycling.  After some deliberation, I chose to listen to some Tom Petty music.  One of the songs I listened to during my bike ride that day was “It’s Good To Be King”.  While cycling and listening I got to thinking about a comment that was made to me.  It was information shared with me, that after hearing, I believe I just stuck it in the back of my brain because I didn’t want to deal with the topic.  Now, while listening to this song I was reminded of the information, a declaration that had thrust me in to a place I had not been before, a place where there was only one way out, a place where I had not planned, bargained or made promises to be there.  It was nearly three years ago that my brother unceremoniously said to me shortly after we had attended a family member’s funeral that I am now the oldest living male on our father’s side of the family.  I don’t remember what my response was towards my brother, I do know that I felt confused, actually kind of nauseous.  I felt one step closer to that inevitable “end”.  I thought, “How could this be?”  There had to be a mistake in his calculations.  While driving home I went through the family lineage, something I don’t recall ever having done before.  Okay, how many females in my father’s family are older than me?  I thought I’d try the avoidance tactic for as long as I could.  After some thought I could count three who represent the female Grimm family lineage who are older than me, they are in their 80’s and 90’s, but me, me the oldest living male?  How could this be true?  I started going through the males, humm, but what about?  Humm, my brother was correct, I am in the dubious position of being on top of the living male Grimm family lineage.  When I got home I shared with Linda what I had learned, having confirmed by running the family tree through my mind, my brother’s declaration made only a few hours earlier.  There was not a lot of discussion, I don’t recall losing any sleep over this revelation and I had forgotten about it, I had moved on.  That is until I was reminded of my position when I heard “It’s Good To Be King” by Tom Petty.

I started thinking about what it means to be the oldest living male in the Grimm family lineage.  I quickly came to the conclusion that first and most importantly, it means I am alive.  After this happy conclusion, I started to wonder if there were other obvious benefits and responsibilities?  I spent days reviewing the lives of the men who held this position prior to me and could find nothing to suggest recognition for the position they held.  There was no wisdom that other family members sought from the eldest male.  There was no mountain to climb to obtain knowledge from the eldest of all others.  There was no outward recognition that such a position even existed!  So, I came to the conclusion that I am not a king.  After all, in addition to the findings described above there is no land or country, no subjects, soldiers, servants or scepters, not even a court jester.  It doesn’t pay very well, actually any monetary amount is nonexistent.  There is none of the trappings of a crown, thrown, no cape, not one scrap of velvet.  Yet inside each of the Grimm males there must be thoughts, ideas and emotions that suggest pity and also relief that it is not them that hold the position that has been placed upon me.  After all, I can’t choose to retire and move to Florida, wear white shoes, pants and belt and escape my position.  I can’t even go on vacation, there is no time away from my position at least while I am alive.  I am “it” for as long as I will remember, so I have decided that I am going to hang onto this position for a very long time and I trust that there are no males in the Grimm family lineage that are dying for the opportunity to be on top of this lineage heap.

We have all been at one time the youngest in our families.  Although, in each of our stories we face and endure the circumstances of our own life’s progression. Unlike each of us having a turn at being the youngest not everyone will have a turn at being the oldest in the family lineage.  But, you know the position is really just a number, a place held by circumstance.  We are really all in this life experience together, young and old, male and female and there are no kings or queens.

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