Memoir Monday, Special Occasions

Honey Moon

The term honeymoon refers to the trip a newly married couple takes after their wedding. Then there’s the term “honeymoon period” to describe the stage of anything which is overly happy and all loving, but of which usually does not last. Like the moon and its phases, this love, which starts out strong eventually fades.

The other day was Friday the 13th and it was accompanied by the full moon, Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, or Honey Moon. These two events coincided in a rare combination. I wrote a short story of fiction set around this and now I want to write about a real life occasion which I can not let pass without speaking about it.

The Honey Moon has a scientific explanation, but basically it has to do with the amber colour, the warm glow of the moon. Love, in its infatuation stage, causes strong feelings of glowing warmth and devotion.

Weddings were commonly held in the month of June, although now it is less common, but today I mark a milestone for the two greatest influences in my life: my parents. They were married thirty-five-years ago on this day, two days after my grandparents, who would have been married sixty-four years if they were both still alive. What better examples could I ask for than these?

It’s a sad thing these days that many marriages don’t last ten years, let alone thirty-five. The world seems to be changing at an alarming rate and marriage becomes harder and harder to sustain. People can not find happiness and contentment with just one person anymore. A lifetime of commitment is becoming too hard for people to hold onto. I ask myself every day why this is.

As a result, families are torn apart and lives forever changed. The examples for children as they become adults and find love are broken and lost forever. This has an effect on who they become and these cycles are repeated in their own lives.

It would be inaccurate to make it all seem so simple. Of course it is not and has not always been easy, but they demonstrate the best example I know of. They are a team through and through. They consult each other and lean on one another for support.

How have they done it? I really should have asked them, sat them down together and wrenched the secret out. I see their commitment in the life they have built together. It is clear to anyone who knows or meets them. They are in this for life.

They make me proud and I am constantly in awe to my core. I know about love because of them. I know how to love thanks to them. I know what is truly important and how to fight for all these things.

The day of their wedding was a hot one, like today. My mom and another from her wedding party went to pick up the cake and raced back, windows open and cake melting in the heat. I was not there, but I wish I had been. I wish I had seen it all begin, but I have seen it grow. Year by year and their bond was sealed.

They are role models to their children and to anyone who can see what they represent. I am who I am because they made me that way. They are a shining example of what true love means. The lessons in love they have provided are key to the stability I have had. Where would I be without that?

I ponder all this, all these questions today, but I hope They are celebrating in a big way. They deserve to experience the good things, what the world has to offer. A toast to you; I raise a glass to you both!

They’ve worked hard and will continue to do so. I strive to live my life like they have shown me to do. They give me hope to believe that a love of my own is indeed possible, not to dare settle for anything less than I deserve.

Nobody is perfect of course, but if I had to name two people, a couple who have it down, I would not have to look any further than Mom and Dad.

Mom, Dad, thank you for all you’ve shown me and for the love you share. It is a beautiful thing to behold and I am honoured to be one with a front row seat. You are everything to your children and grandchildren. You are the example you’ve set for us and we are proud of all you have done and continue to do.

Thanks Dad and Mom…thanks a lot! I count on words to help me express anything I feel, good or bad, but I am having trouble this time. I fall short as I write. I feel all you have taught me so strong, words fail me in every way. I am rendered nearly speechless at this moment, on this momentous day.

Every moon will wax and wane, as do the stages of life and love, but you are still here and still together.
June 16th belongs to you. Happy Anniversary from us all.

Memoir Monday, Special Occasions

The Ties That Bind

When I was a child my grandmother and her younger sister sounded so much alike that I was often confused when they were both nearby. I just couldn’t believe or accept that they weren’t really twins. Their voices sounded so similar and I was sure of it. As I grew I was able to distinguish the subtle nuances that made them separate women, yet still extremely close.

It’s been almost ten years since my grandma died. I used to spend a lot of time with her and other family from her generation. Recently I had the urge to once again spend some time with those who tie me to her and who knew her best. I haven’t seen my two great aunts and my great uncle since my grandfather passed away, since the funeral that cold February day four years ago. There was just no situation in which we had the opportunity to cross paths, but one day I found myself wishing to see them and speak to them once more.

I have reminders of my grandma and grandpa all around me. I have my mother and my uncles, all of whom share their parent’s characteristics in one way or another. I even notice my grandma in myself. I noticed it for the first time a few years ago. One day I heard myself clearing my throat and there she was again, inside of me. However, there’s just something I don’t get from any of this and that is the feelings from my grandparents’ generation. It’s in everything: from how they speak, the sounds of their voices, to the words they say. I realized these people won’t be around forever, just like my grandparents before them and family is what links to the past in a one-of-a-kind way.

My grandma’s only sister was one of the closest people in the world to her and their brother’s wife was a sister just as dear to them as if she had been connected through blood. The three of them spent so much time together and with my grandpa and great uncle too. They loved to get together, to play cards, and to visit and talk for hours. I realized when each of my grandparents died that these three were losing precious family and dear friends all at the same time and that their loss was so much bigger than mine in so many ways.

Now all these years later, on seeing them again, it is as if no time has passed. They asked if I still remembered them and I hugged all three and felt close to my grandparents once more. My great uncle sounded, for the most part, just as he had the last time we spoke. My grandma’s sister always did sound so similar. Once I grew older I was able to recognize the slightly lower pitch. I didn’t know if others could spot it, but I always knew them apart, as my grandma’s voice had a slightly higher lilt to it. As I think about it now, I wonder if I thought today my great aunt sounded more like my grandma, simply because her voice has changed slightly with age or is it only that I have begun to forget, with time, what exactly it was my grandma really sounded like?

A sign of the times – apparent in the photo albums my grandmother’s sister brought with them as nowadays we live in an all-digital photo world on our computers and smart phones. I could not see these old pictures that the rest of them gathered to look through; I instead listened hard to every word my sister read of the poem someone had written for my great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It was a snapshot into the world I hadn’t yet been born into, but of which I would come into and be connected to always.

Time has passed and the three of them are all in their eighties and slowing down, but I smiled as I witnessed my great aunts talking together about all the people they know and of whom my grandparents once knew. My great uncle may not be related by blood, but his way of speaking and his boisterous chuckle was closer than I’ve been to my grandpa since we lost him.

As I stood and talked with my great aunts, my grandma’s sister asked me what I thought my grandma would have thought about things as they are now. I often wonder what she would think about my house and the life I now live. Since recent events I miss her all the more. I know she would have known the absolute right thing to say, the perfect words to make it all better and the right outlook to have on love and loss, with my grandpa’s jolly jokes and sense of humour there to make me smile.

I don’t think anyone knew how much today meant to me, to spend even a few hours with the three people that knew my wonderful grandparents best. I know how nothing lasts forever and how the ones apart of our families and our past won’t always be here. I needed to take the opportunities I still have while I still can, before the past is unreachable and the ones tying me to my childhood and my history are no longer here. I didn’t want to keep thinking about it and talking about it and never making it happen, regret being all I’m left with. On this Memoir Monday I don’t underestimate the value of family, those who came before me, and the connections to the girl I used to be and the woman I am today.