Once again the women gathered. This past weekend my mother’s two sisters, their best friend, and several more of us gathered for dinner and laughs. There were four generations represented. The oldest in their mid-seventies and the youngest at eighteen months.
We ate dessert first. Then after dinner and a lot of talking and laughing, we donned Mardi Gras beads and crazy hats for our group photo. My aunt figures out something silly for us to put on each time for the pictures.
The littlest two girls loved the beads. They loaded all they could around their necks. Our baby girl finally dropped hers down to her ankles and kicked them off! Big sister’s pile must have weighed half as much as she did!
This is a new ritual for us. My mother’s youngest sister has been diagnoses with Alzheimer’s. One would have to pay attention to realize she is having problems. When we are all together, she laughs and visits right along with us. We will try to get as many laughs and hugs in as we can in the time each of us has left.
What else is there? Love. In the end, that is all that matters. In the end, it is what made us and what sustains us. He is Love. From His Love He created us. Through His Love He saves us. To His Love we will return.
To love and worship Him through Christ. To keep His commandments. To keep His command to love each other. When one really gets to the center of that concept, everything else is a natural outpouring of true love. It is hard to love others. To make our way to true love. It is risky and dangerous to extend the heart and mind to love. To love and be loved.
And so, Lord willing, the women will continue to gather. To love and be loved. To learn to love even more. To teach the little ones how to love and be loved. Just as our mother’s before us taught us to love. In their memory and honor we gather to sustain each other and grow another generation to love and sustain each other.
I had a wonderful time snuggling my great niece this past weekend. She is five and a half months old and starting to roll over. She is the happiest baby! My older great niece actually talked to me and seems to be getting accustomed to me. She will be four this fall. I wasn’t around her much earlier on due to various circumstances in my life. They live a two hour drive away. I spend the night when I go.
I have enjoyed getting to know my niece as an adult. I was her shadow the first couple of years of her life. I was in high school when she was born. The first of her generation in our family. There is a photo I took of her at about age two on her icebox put there by her husband. Her oldest daughter looks exactly like her except for the hair color. I told my niece how proud of her I am. She is honest, realistic and direct about her opinions and feelings. I decided later she got that from her maternal grandmother. We wondered together where she got it. Finally, it dawned on me!
Later during the weekend, I had time with my own angel baby. She may be all grown up and taking care of me now, but she is still my baby. She helped me get a load of festive flip-flops on sale and went with me to see our dear friend for her birthday. I am humbled by the blessing of my daughter.
Our friend’s sweet hubby had cooked ribs and such for supper. We crashed the family party and ate supper. A moment in time to remind my friend that I love her and to remember that she loves me.
Had to run as soon as we ate to get home to see this man of mine. I missed him. Kissed him bye Friday morning and didn’t get home till after nine Saturday evening. Even when we aren’t in the same part of the house, just knowing he is close by keeps me from feeling lost and alone.
I spent Sunday camping under the gazebo our son and his bride left behind. Books, music, crochet, writing tablet, journal, cookbooks. Hours and hours sitting and thinking and reading and planning and writing and scheming.
I am saving up time to fly to Maui to see my other blessings: my son and his bride. So, I haven’t had my week off for vacation this summer. I will be off a few days later this month for the longhorn sale. But, I am missing my mid-summer regrouping time. Time to putter around the house and reconfigure things. But, I am cooking up a plan……………if it works out………the results will most likely be published.
Trying to keep connected to the generations of my family. I confess I have neglected the upper generations. I must try to rectify that situation. My aunts need to be on my list of visits, too.
But, the hardest part is leaving him. Even for a little while. Even to go see very dear loved ones. My heart is bound up with him. I sound like a silly school girl in love. I still get nervous and giddy waiting to see him. He is my best connection. The one that keeps me grounded, yet soaring above the clouds.