When I was a girl I had a large extended family on my mother's side. She was one of six, her mother was one of five, and so there are many memories of lots of people at all the get togethers we would have throughout my childhood. They were usually quite loud, everyone talking at once, the hard of hearing talking louder and no one hearing anything, but always lots of laughs and fun stories told. There was always lots of good, good food, and the men would congregate in one area of the house or yard and the women in another - the kitchen or the "parlor." When the boys would run out of words to say, like the male gender tends to do, they would meander into the women's area where the topics were still going strong and hadn't run their course.
One of the things that struck me most since we've moved back though, and gives me a great feeling of sadness, is those who are not here anymore. My great aunts and the life of the parties are no longer here, my grandparents are all gone, and the connections that were there when I was a girl have been frayed, some cut, and some held on by thinner cords then the thick ropes of large families getting together at wedding showers and baby showers and confirmations and weddings.
We still are family. We still have the memories of those who used to be here to enjoy the times together, but it's just.....different.
(The word I would use to describe everything lately.....different. The same, but different. Not good, not bad, just....different.)
So we and the next generations are walking in the footsteps of the generation before us. We're having our showers, our get togethers, and paving a different, yet same road that was started generations ago.
My Mom and sister-in-law hosted a post wedding shower for my new daughter and the next generations were there. We've all gotten an unspoken promotion to who we are in the younger generations memories, and although we're much hipper and cover our gray better then the generation before us, we still are, I know in my nieces' eyes, OLD!
But that's ok. Life goes on. Even when the memories of those we miss still are as real as the last time we were altogether laughing and talking, and we miss them and wish the younger generation could have known them and shared the memories, life goes on.
Life is good because God is good.