I just came back from a quick trip this past weekend to celebrate my paternal aunt’s 80th birthday. I was able to spend time with extended family, seeing some for the first time in thirteen years.
We all lamented how far-flung we have become over the past sixty years. Growing up, my parent’s extended families lived within a thirty mile radius to us. We were able to visit aunts, uncles and cousins regularly. Many times my parents would host a family get together in our small backyard. How many people would entertain three dozen people with one restroom?
As I looked around the room Friday night, I saw our parents were moving slower, many using canes to lean on, or turning up hearing aids to catch every comment. But there was plenty of laughter as they gathered at their table for dinner.
My cousins were grayer, and our svelte figures had settled into the middle age spread. We spoke of our children and grandchildren. We may be older, but our memories of good times spent together had not dimmed.
The younger generation looked on in amusement. They were discussing their jobs, their household woes, and their child rearing stories while keeping close eye on their little ones running around the room.
Four generations gathered in one room. What a gift.