"Say what you have to say, and not what you ought."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Life Celebrations

There's a quote about parenting that says, "The days are long but the years are short. Enjoy every moment." I think it applies to life in general, not just to parenting. The past two weeks have reminded me of the truth of the statement and how quickly life flies by. A week ago Saturday, life was cruising along with its many obligations and occasional misunderstandings and complications. One moment the most important thing in my world was making it to a music festival I look forward to attending every year. Seconds later, after a phone call from Kelly telling me his sister was in the ER, everything else fell away and became unimportant. Sadly, his sister died that night. The week was filled with the many decisions and tasks that come with a death, culminating Friday evening with a celebration of her life. 

My grandma, Alberta French, at church on her 100th birthday.
Just two weeks ago, Kelly and I were in Grand Junction, Colorado celebrating my grandma's 100th birthday. Two life celebrations two weeks apart for completely different reasons. One life over at 60 years of age, another still going at 100 years. I was struck by how brief 60 years of life seems. Even 100 years, as incredible as it is to make it to that age, seems like just a blink of an eye in many ways. At 46 years old, I feel a little panicked at how much of my life is already gone and how much I still have left that I want to accomplish.  

Having both things happen so closely together has me thinking a lot about how truly fleeting life is and how important it is to live life to the fullest at every opportunity. It's also been a good reminder to me of how important relationships and family connections are. In the later years of life those are the connections we long for and reminisce about, and seek out for comfort when lives end. All of the material things we spend so much energy working for and accumulating are all but meaningless in the end. Sometimes making the time to connect with friends and family is challenging. People are scattered across the country and everyone's live are busy. But the energy and expense is worth it for me. I am once again reminded of the importance of making those connections happen. My time in Colorado with my family celebrating with my grandma was good for my soul. I love and cherish my relationships with all of my family, and am especially grateful for the lifelong friendships I have with my cousins. In a couple more weeks all of us will gather in Colorado for the official 100th birthday celebration for my grandma. I can't wait to see everyone! In the meantime, here are a few pictures and memories from her birthday on May 29, 2016.
Me and my cousin Michelle. She always makes me laugh.
Toasting the birthday queen.
Grandma with her two oldest granddaughters.
Being silly with the cousins.
Grandma with her grandkids that were there for her birthday. 
Three generations. Me with my grandma and mom. 
The family after lunch with grandma.