It seems that I was the 12,733,144-th person to listen online to this song by David Bowie, who is now, sadly, gone from us. I confess that I did not follow him … something about being busy raising children, working and all that … during his heyday. I have been reading all the tributes to him, though. What an amazing musician, artist, person!

This song’s topic, the inevitable march of time, particularly the progression of generations, has been on my mind.

Becoming a grandparent isn’t just one thing. The transition involves changes for grown children as well as for grandparents. On the downhill side of life now, over 70, I find, inevitably, that I need care as much as – sometimes more than – I am able to care for others. An awkward shift!

Some people say, “I don’t want to be a burden to my children,” but I expect to. Isn’t that how families work? We care for our children when they are litle and when they are grown they care for us.

I realize that this shift means that I need to get better both at asking for help and at accepting it gracefully. I am working on both, with uneven success. In a way the shift involves a loss for my grown children: they can no longer consistently look to me for strength but need to offer me their strength. Changes for all of us, changes in all of us.