Remember when you were ten
and thought at twenty-one
you’d be all grown up and perfectly happy?
Then, when you were thirteen
your father dropped dead of a heart attack
and your family all but fell apart.
Remember when you were twenty-one
and thought at forty
you’d have life all figured out?
Then, just as you finished college at twenty-two
you became pregnant with Jessica
and your plans to become a trial lawyer ended.
Remember when you were forty-five
all three kids were on their own, and you thought
you could launch a writing career?
Then, two days after your first book was accepted
your mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and
all your energy shifted to caring for her.
Remember when you were sixty-five
had published eight books, and you thought
Tom and you could finally relax and smell the roses?
Then, when you were sixty-seven
Tom died after a prolonged battle with cancer
and Jessica entered rehab for alcoholism.
Remember just yesterday, on your eighty-third birthday
you marveled at how life seems to happen
in between all the plans we make?
Nothing could be more true.