(Please note: This post was previously written on October 15, and a day later Mom-mom fell and spent a few weeks at the hospital and nursing rehab. While I could change my wording, I felt it best to share my feelings through this post in its original words. Enjoy!)
Yesterday we celebrated my Mom-mom’s 88th birthday and, much like when I personally turned 35, it seemed like a monumental year. I found myself watching her from the distance, reminiscing in my mind of all that I have learned from her over the years and all the memories we have created. Many events stand out ~ my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary party, the many trips to their cabin in Sullivan County, watching her wrap her hair in toilet paper each night, her enjoyment of baking and cooking, and more stories than I could count told around her kitchen table during many holiday gatherings.
For now these memories are tucked nicely in my mind and because Mom-mom lives with us, even our daughters have heard many of the stories. But, the realization that our time is limited ~ all of ours truthfully ~ and, as each year passes, I know that the day will come when we will lose our chance at making memories and reminiscing of those from the past. I may one day be so busy that I can’t remember the sound of her laughter or the advice she gave me during one of our drives to town. I won’t know how to make her “family-favorite” chicken pot pie, a recipe handed down to her by her own mother, but only kept in her memory. There’s a lot at stake ~ memories, sounds, advice, and comfort that we could miss out on when those we love are gone. Are we really willing to let those moments slip between our fingers? We already are….
When was the last time you sat down with someone in your family to simply talk? When was the last time you grabbed the camera and took a picture ~ even if it has to be a selfie ~ for no reason than to have that moment forever? How many times have you been too busy, too hurt, too caught up in our life of technology to slow down and spend time with the family members who helped shape you into who you are?
I will admit I am at fault. Mom-mom lives with us and I only grab the camera on holidays and, even then, I typically grab only a picture of our daughters with her. She sits in her room most days as I rush through the laundry, exercise, homework, dinner, etc…and there are days we barely get to truly connect because I am too busy rushing around. And, while I know this is just the way of life, I refuse to let this be how I remember this time in our life. As a follower of the book & blog, “Hands Free Mama” by Rachel Stafford, I’ve been working on the shift in “letting go….to grasp what really matters” & how important it is in my time as a Mom and Wife, but also as a Daughter, Granddaughter, Sister, & Friend. There’s still work to do to be the person I want to be, the one who makes time for stories, laughter, baking, connecting, and, pictures. But, my day with Mom-mom yesterday was a good start at looking at life and preserving what is meaningful to me, was a good start….