In the first picture, Mary’s great grandshild pondering those she has a special connection to in life. She’s got the best seat in the house while there was much conversing and laughter all around, she did take time to view the vast expanse seen from the Valley View Room…miles and miles around quite clear that day.
The cake: beautiful photos of this lovely woman.
Not the clearest of pictures but one of the moments as she sat in thought watching the set up with the lighting of the candles.
Few moments she had to herself, during the lighting of the candles, she had an opportunity to absorb the festivities. She had just watched a wonderful comprehensive view of moments captured here and there throughout the years. Very emotional for everyone. Great job done- the entire gift- from the venue to the flowers 90 yellow roses, buttoneires (sp? doubtful), the (Lord word dfind issues extreme this morning- I apologize)the little bowed boxes of chocolates at each place,the wonderful video, the music and photos going throughout the dinner, the testimonies, the closeness of a family raised as only Mary and Jake could have raised them.
It may have seemd odd to some to be the ex wife of one of the sons and to be invited. This likely is unusual- but this is anunusual family. (Come on with all the similarities ,aren’t all families?). There wasn’t much hesitation when my former husband had called and said that he personally wanted to extend this invitation, rather than to have one of our kids extend the invitation. This was kind of his part and he recognized, no doubt, that even though we have been amicable and it has been a very long time, that had I been invited any other way that I would have had to talk with him to know this would be alright with him. His mom and I have talked over the years about the fact that this was difficult in how it changed our being together as often and truly did leave a loss that we all experienced, but that the love still was there- as my son put it once after he had pushed the family away during some years,”You can push this family away. You can run away from it all you want. But in the end you a going to be a part of it. You will have been and you will be.” This is true and wrought of the unconditional love these people were taught. That being said, I don’t mean to idealize it. Make no mistake this is a collection of human beings and as humans do ,there are times we all fall short. But somehow these people get back on their feet. Of course there are tensions , disagreements, siblings who don’t see eye to eye, siblings who flat out get at each other. But in the end they have each other’s back. In the end, they stand together to face whatever life brings them, the blessings, the losses, the achievements, the failures, the joys and the griefs, the battles, time , and distance not with standing.
There is much one has flowing through their minds, their hearts at such a celebration. There are memories that would take lifetimes to reveal as each has their own moments they take away from an experience and there are just so very many of those moments in a lifetime of living as a family. Of course one doesn’t experience a celebration such as this without missing those no longer present with us. The heartache runs deep in this being said so briefly. We acknowledge that they certainly are there with us. And maybe it is just me, but their presence is felt there whenever the family gathers. They have been a part of it all and are woven in the very fabric of love shared by all.
Years past in our own lives don’t dash out of the door before the reflection enters the soul and lingers at its own bidding. it’can be hauntingly achinly there and yet can fall mellow and gently falling deep within your mind where only you will visit- a place shared with no one you would suspect. Moments spent with those now gone have died in all but your mind, your heart. Times past that you feel likely only remembered by yourself get tucked away. You can’t stay on wondering whether it is only you who visits a moment. This is not the purpose of its existence in your mind, in your very soul. Sometimes it is a costly visit to go to these places, but there are times the price gets paid and the heart reads lightly into a world once known as your present life. These memories can nearly disorient as travelling back to a time which seems unrecognizable to the world surrounding you today. Yet you know you were there. You know you walked those footsteps. You loved with the passion of your soul. You laughed and cried and held fragile moments, now gone too rich to be forgotten. Sometimes one asks if this is the root of the mess that is you in moments when the soul is taunted and haunted by choices, by what was and has been released into the past. There is no going backs. The what if’s do not bring anything concrete or anything that will ease the worry lines owned by such times. Regrets are fine when lessons are learned. Mine came hard earned and likely learned after repeating too many alike each other. But they have formed this person who sits here today…or I have formed the journey which has been this life. Many would agree it is a mess of a job I lived. Many would say so many choices counter I hold as beliefs. For of all the traitors who walk upon the earth it is the traitor I was to myself that I wish I had not ever known. You cannot go home. Tom Wolf I must agree. You can visit a view of what had been. You can feel the life lived. But the done is done, the past has been cast and you set yourself asail into your present while tomorrow awaits beyond that horizon ahead. Set the sail.