Finally tonight I have some quiet hours to sit and ponder the busy week that has passed so quickly. As the Labor Day Weekend brought summer to an end, my calendar seemed suddenly filled. While our school district does not begin classes until this coming Monday, my daughter-in-law, who is a teacher, worked on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I had all three of my little ones together again for two full days. So many memories stirred as I watched them together. I have taken care of them since Alivia was two months old; now she is six and entering first grade, and Luke will begin kindergarten next week. Emma -- who was just an infant a heartbeat ago -- is now 2-1/2, and a beautiful little dynamo. How quickly the time has passed, and how thankful I am that I chose to spend my days with them. It will be with tear-filled eyes that I send Liv and Luke off to school on Monday and bring my little Emma back to my house.
On Thursday I attended a funeral for a cousin whom I have met only a few times. She was so friendly and kind, and I always intended to get together with her, so I could know her better. And now, she is gone -- I bid her good-bye at her lovely funeral mass, and was filled with regret. Life is busy and crazy much of the time, and so often we neglect the more distant members of our families, only to feel excruciating sadness as we lose them and realize that we never really took the time to know them.
On a much happier note, I gathered with several former high school classmates for a "mini-reunion;" it has been forty-five years since we graduated together. Unbelievable!! What an enjoyable evening it was. I was talking recently with friends about our desire as we grow older to reconnect with the friends of our youth. As I sat at this reunion, thoroughly enjoying the people and the conversations, I realized the bond of memories we all shared. As we age, we lose grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins -- so many of the people who remember us as a child. There are fewer people who share our early memories of our school, our town, ourselves.
This reunion gave us a chance, not only to discover the roads where life has taken each of us, but also to remember and share our impressions of our earlier lives. We remember the same teachers, the music, the gossip. We remind each other of who we were then. It is a beautiful thing to reconnect not only with these people, but with our shared memories. We look at each others' aging faces and see in our hearts younger, hopeful faces. And I am reminded of a lyric from a beautiful country song,
"To me, you will always be eighteen, and beautiful, and dancing away with my heart..."