At the table four generations sat facing one another. The "old" folk - those in their 70's - began to share stories of way back when. They told us how they felt the first time they were told to sit on the back of the bus. Pride was still in their voices as they remininsced about how they were able to get through the rough times - in their marriages, at their jobs, and raising their families.
Lately, one of the men said, he had been bumping into old classmates. Sometimes in unexpected places. Sometimes, with unexpected circumstances. Like in nursing homes, for example. "He knew me right away," the man said. "But, I had to take a real good look at him before I realized who he was." He faced the window and I imagined he was contemplating his own time line of life.
I looked across the table and there in the eyes of all, I recognized a sense of sad resignation. And there was silence because we could not find the words.