Today is my mom's 80th birthday.
My husband got to experience both of his parents' 80ths but my dad died in his 70s when I was still in my early 20s. Even my mom said tonight she never expected to see 80, bless her heart.
We got as much of the family together as we could: My sister, Melissa, and her daughter Eryn came from Virginia. Her other children Belle and Ethan were unable to attend. My brother, Steve, came with his grandson, Elliot. His daughter, Alex, and her husband, Jesse, had a wedding to attend. HIs son, Jake, is serving in the U.S. Navy in Japan.
I honestly cannot remember the last time my siblings and I were together. They tell me it was when my sister got her Masters and she came to see Mom. That would've been while we were still in Memphis, and we've been gone from there 10 years now.
(Of all the time that seems to have flown, the fact that we've been gone from Memphis for 10 years now is the one that gets me the most. I just can't even fathom it.)
Three generations of daughters: Eryn, Melissa, Teressa
It was a wonderful evening with family. Mom seemed very happy to have us all with her. My sister looked amazing. Her daughter is riding high on an amazing work innovation she's been asked to present all up and down the East Coast. My son, who has just returned to Memphis for a new job with Andrew Michael group wasn't going to be able to join us, since he had to work. We decided then to have the dinner at his restaurant.
I asked the restaurant manager to take a picture of our family dinner.
As much as I loved the dinner and the time we had together, ever since I left the restaurant, I've felt a sadness. Melancholy. A feeling that we won't have this again.
You hope that when one generation passes that the next will take up the mantle. But I've seen otherwise with my husband's family. His mom and dad (married almost 70 years) were always the ones who brought us all together. The family (4 children. 9 grandchildren, 14 great-grands and now 1 great-great-grand) has rarely seen each other. A few, here and there, as travel allows, but the big gatherings are a thing of the past. Maybe that's just the natural progression as the family multiplies.
But it makes me sad. Time is fleeting.
My family isn't perfect. We have our idiosyncrasies. Our losses. Our tough times. Our grudges. Our resentments. But in the end, it's my family. It's all we have.
Families that we create can be everything to us. They can be the difference between life and death for some people. But blood is thick.
And time is fleeting.
“Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours.” ~ Marcus Aurelius