From Dr. Jane's Notebook
The circle of time
During my recent trip home to visit my folks, I
had a feeling similar to déjà vu. But even more than a sense of having been
there before, I found myself beset with memories of previous generations, family
events, and the unfolding of genetics over time. Decisions which had always
puzzled me as a child began making sense, long standing questions were being
answered, and I was acutely aware of the rapid passage of the last 30 years.
- My daughter is getting married. This means many
things. Most importantly, it means that my daughter has found the man with
whom she wants to spend the rest of her life. It also means that my husband
and I gain a son-in-law, my son gains a brother-in-law, soon we will gain
another whole branch of the family, and the hope for grandchildren lies on the
horizon. My daughter is getting married. She’s starting her own family. I
remember when I was a bride.
- It’s time to plan a wedding. With great humility,
I now realize that planning a wedding is an enormous task. As bride and
groom, my husband and I clearly had the easy part back in 1974. We created the
guest list and the rest seemed to flow like magic. How did my parents plan and
execute the wonderful wedding they hosted for us 33 years ago? Every detail
was handcrafted with warmth and love. My father even performed the ceremony.
But it was my mom who made all the plans and executed our beautiful wedding.
- My parents are getting older. Due to health
problems, my mother may not be able to attend the wedding. For similar
reasons, my mother’s mother was unable to attend my wedding. I will admit that
I have always been disappointed that my grandmother could not be present as I
said my vows. Clearly she was sick but I had a hard time accepting her
absence. Today, my mother closely resembles my grandmother. Looking at her, I
finally realize that like my mother now, my grandmother was very fragile and
frail. My instinct is to protect and preserve every bit of my mother’s
remaining energy. I feel afraid to rock the boat; I am very afraid of loss.
- How can I follow in my mother’s footsteps without her
help? Now I am the mother of the bride piecing together the lessons I
have learned. My grandmother was unable to help my mother in 1974, but she had
prepared her daughter long before then with lessons of hospitality that were
passed down from generation to generation. Like my mother, I will have to rely
upon all that she has taught me; I must now pass down our family traditions.
Years ago, I was advised that the two most
important elements of a great wedding were the music and the photography.
“You’ve got to dance and you’ve got to be able to remember your wedding in
years to come”. Recently I was present when my daughter and her fiancé visited
my folks to share the excitement of their engagement. Together, we represented
three generations of marriage. Soon my daughter opened the copy of our wedding
album which lives on the coffee table. Close by, I found my parents’ wedding
album from 1948. As we reminisced, I realized that before us lay the blueprints
of two very beautiful weddings. Everything was right there captured in the
photographs. We already have the recipe. All we need to add is our revised
version of the family, lots of love, lots of dancing. and of course, lots of
©Copyright, 2007, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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