64 Years, 8 Months, and 15 Days

Patricia M. Snell

© Copyright 2015 by Patricia M. Snell

Photo of moon rising over Canadian island.
My mother’s lifespan has been on my mind as I approach the age she reached on the day of her passing. She lived a shortened life, but it was a full life.

In 1992, when my mother passed away, she was exactly 64 years, 8 months, and 15 days old. I have been thinking about her lifespan as I approach the age of 64 yeas, 8 months, and 15 days. It doesn’t seem like a very long time to live, but my mother saw more in her life than many people see in a long lifetime. My mother’s name was Hazel, and hazel was the color of her eyes. As a child, Hazel’s hazel eyes unknowingly saw depression era poverty in her home. She saw her mother use every resource, and waste nothing, to provide for her family of eight. Hazel’s hazel eyes saw laughter and singing at home in spite of hardships. She saw her father bring home musical instruments and provide for music lessons. There was a family band with an accordion, a banjo, a mandolin, guitars, and singing.

As a young adult, Hazel’s hazel eyes saw her future husband. A few years after their wedding, my brother and I were born. Then, my parents started to realize their dream of traveling around the country and the world. Hazel’s hazel eyes saw parts of 49 states, some Canadian provinces, and foreign countries on three continents. She went sightseeing in more than 100 state and national parks. She got a bird’s-eye-view of the Rocky Mountains through the window of a helicopter as it landed on a mountain. She saw the Florida Everglades, the Smoky Mountains, the Amazon Jungle, the Sonoran Desert, Iceland, two oceans, and a view from the top of the highest peak in New York State.

Hazel’s hazel eyes saw her precious grandchildren. She watched the children sitting around her dining room table playing games. She enjoyed meals at McDonald’s with the children. She kept an eye on them as they had fun at the playground and the park. She cherished the excitement in her grandchildren’s eyes as they enjoyed Christmas traditions at her home. She saw love in their eyes because each one shared a special bond with their grandma.

Then, Hazel’s hazel eyes saw her sympathetic doctor speak the word “cancer”. She observed more doctors, nurses, medications, needles and hospital beds. She made sure her eyes saw as much as possible of her family because she knew it would not be long before cancer took her life. The light went out in her eyes much too soon. Hazel’s hazel eyes never saw her youngest grandchild. She never saw any of her grandchildren grow up and graduate, start careers, and have families of their own. Still, Hazel’s hazel eyes saw a full life.

My mother’s life was different than mine, but I always identified with her. As I live beyond the age of 64 years, 8 months, and 15 days, I feel like I’m moving into uncharted territory without a model to guide me. I can only imagine what Hazel’s hazel eyes would have seen as she grew older. I know one thing for sure; even if I live to be 100, I will not see and experience as much as my mother did in her 64 years, 8 months, and 15 days on earth.

Unlike my parents, I have no desire to travel. I am content to live with my husband in a small town on the shore of Lake Ontario, just west of Rochester NY. In my spare time, I like to read and write. I have been published a few times in newspapers, and in Reminisce Magazine and Ranger Rick Magazine.

Contact Patricia
(Unless you type the author's name
in the subject line of the message
we won't know where to send it.)

Patricia's Story List and Biography

Book Case

Home Page

The Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher