15 Jan 2019

Forever Young

.In Rod Stewart‘s 1988 hit Forever Young (a similar single to Bob Dylan’s earlier release), he summed up beautifully the wish we all have for the newborn loves in our life. “May the good Lord be with you, down every road you roam…and may sunshine and happiness surround you when you’re far from home,” Stewart crooned. “And may you grow to be proud, dignified and true…and do unto others as you’d have done to you.” Mostly Stewart wished, like we all do, for the little ones to be courageous and brave, while assuring them that in his heart they would always stay…forever young.
We felt this sentiment in the deep caverns of our soul this past Christmas Eve as we welcomed a new grandson to the family. Maximo Lenox (named for his paternal grandfather and our family’s Iowa hometown) arrived on the scene greeted by 2 proud grandpas (Papa and Nonno), 2 weeping grandmas (Grammie and Nonna) and a couple of starry-eyed parents. The flood of emotions that happens when you see your “little person” holding her own “little person” cannot be overstated. All the hopes and dreams we had for Ashlie when she was just minutes old were played out in a real-life fairytale as we watched her gaze into her sons eyes and formulate her hopes and dreams for him and his future.
It’s amazing how a new baby can jar the innermost hollows of your memory bank. With almost laser clarity, both sets of grandparents spent the birthing day re-counting the details of the births of our own children, comparing anecdotes and milestones of their childhood. Things that we hadn’t remembered or discussed for years suddenly seemed like they happened just yesterday. It was a jarring reminder of both the preciousness and brevity of life and how like Rod Stewart we wish we could keep them forever young. In the days that followed, as we had the privilege of assisting in getting the little man off to a great start on Planet Earth, we were also reminded that Maximo and his cousins are going to help keep this Grammie and Papa forever young.
Nantucket has the exact same effect on the people who visit here and call the Grey Lady home. She brings out the kid in us as we frolic in the waves, make castles in the sand, skip stones across Long Pond and hunt for horseshoe crabs near Coatue. Just like a new baby, the island also leaves us awestruck on a daily basis as we consider the wonder of it all. The breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, the night sky blanketed with a gazillion stars, the stillness of the moors on a winter day and the magic of the bustling cobblestone streets in the summer. It’s hard to believe our good fortune to be gifted something so spectacular.
The island has certainly fulfilled one of Rod Stewart’s wishes. She “does unto others” on a regular basis. Nantucket is the gift that keeps on giving and we’re all better for it. “Sunshine and happiness,” as Stewart says, is part of the magic and it does surround us even when we’re far from home. Thank you, Nantucket for giving us such an extraordinary place to share with our kids and grand kids and for keeping us young.
Shellie Dunlap
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