Tuesday, November 22, 2011

life begins at 40

alternative title: the ripple effect of giving

on november 6, 1998, when i turned 40, my best buddy/brother willy gave me a coffee cup with "life begins at 40" painted on the side of it. ..he wrote a little note, describing how he recevied the cup (from his brother, hughie) when he turned 40, and how hughie had received the cup when he turned 40. ..along with willy's note was huey's note, with a few words of wisdom about coffee, growing older, life, etc.

naturally, i gave the cup to my brother (joe) with accompanying note, when he turned 40. ..then...
joe gave the cup (with his note) to brother john, when he turned 40, then...
john gave the cup (with his note) to brother steve, when he turned 40, and now...

steve is going to give the cup to our nephew (clare's son mike), since he recently turned 40. ..steve is planning on making a booklet, complete with all of the notes, for mike.
  • 4.27.1985: hughie received the cup from his then fiance, donna. ..they are still married.
  • 1.9.1996: willy received the cup from hughie.
  • 11.6.1998: lenny received the cup from willy.
  • 2.25.2000: joe received the cup from lenny.
  • 2.20.2006: john received the cup from joe.
  • 12.1.2008: steve received the cup from john.
  • 10.28.2011: mike turned 40, and will receive the cup from steve on 11.26.2011, at the martineau family gift exchange.
this post is dedicated to honoring the cup's past, 
and to contemplating the cup's future:

  • will mike give it to his brother (clare's son) rob, when he turns 40 (6.19.2015)?
  • will rob give it to his cousin (larry's son) peter, when he turns 40 (1.16.2019)?
  • will peter entrust the cup to his brother (larry's son) brian, on his 40th (11.16.2021)?
  • will (donna's son) james receive the cup when he turns 40 on 6.5.2023?
  • could (larry's daughter) cheryl be the first female recipient of the cup, on her 40th birthday (1.8.2025)...or might jen be thrown into the mix on 8.26.2017, opening the door for ashley via brian on  11.16.2022?
  • might cheryl pass the cup to (steve's daughter) stacy, on her 40th (8.16.2031)?

with joe's sons (danny and jason), john's son's (david and eric) and steve's daughter and son (jessie and kevin) in line... will the cup ever find its way to them? ..what about the great grandchildren?

nick? julia? luke? maddie? liliana (9.28.2048)?

could the cup ever be passed back to willy's family, when his daughter kelly turns 40?
would kelly give the cup to abby?

should there be "life begins at 40 cup reunions" where we all gather and sip from the cup, in a cult-like manner? ..will the cup ever be "retired"? ..will the cup ever be put on display?

the beautiful thing is this: nobody knows what may or may not happen to "the cup."  ..the holder of the cup is free to do with it as s/he pleases, and therein lies the mystery.

as life begins at 40, may we all re-member the joy that comes from giving... and never knowing the amazing ripple-effect of any of our gifts.

...and every act of kindness is a gift, with a built-in ripple effect...
an effect of unknown possibilities. 

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