Sunday, 20 October 2013

Celebration of Life

Happy Birthday

Aunt Elaine's 80th, Cynthia Lemen 50th
 Women gathering together to celebrate not the birthday markers of youth
To celebrate the wisdom, beauty, comfort, and awareness that comes with age.

We gathered at Demetre’s Family Eatery in Stratford Ontario a comfortable restaurant that embraced the playfulness of eleven women crossing two generations within the same family.
With heads bowed we silently as to not offend the other dinners raised our voices in blessing:

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

We sing well and are comfortable with our places and parts within this choir of voices.  Our music lifted my spirit and transported me for at time away from the noisy restaurant to a church hall where four generations of this family raised their voices in this blessing for the 100th birthday of the family Matriarch Great Grandma Katharina.

As cousins we shared stories about our grandparents and attempted to draw our mothers and aunts into the discussion.  

It was at this point that I realized stories that brought a smile to our faces brought reflects of sadness, and yearning in theirs.

We were remembering grandparents
They were recalling parents 
As grandparents we share a very different part of ourselves with our grandchildren.  

I am more at ease with my grandchildren than I am with my children.  I don’t fear judgement and recrimination from my grandchildren as I do from my children.  This is not a rational fear as my children are very tolerant and accepting of their eccentric mother but the fear is there all the same. 

The Grandfather and Grandmother that we described was familiar to them yet  different from the Mother and Father they knew.

Grandma Snyder
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