Friday, October 30, 2015
Simpler Times-Perhaps: Part 1, Memories and Nostalgia
I've been in a nostalgic mood this week. The realization that not only is my youngest in high school, but that she will soon be learning to drive, looking at colleges, and then we truly will be empty nesters is hitting me. Joining that realization is the fact that DD#2 turns twenty five, and DS will be twenty-seven on his next birthday, the age his dad was when he was born. I've said my own pending 50th birthday is not bothering me, but perhaps I am a bit in denial. I have a longing for days of old, the simpler time in my life. I read Rivulet's posts at $12 A Day, with stories about how she spends her time with her sweet little guy, and I sometimes well up remembering my kids when they were small and just discovering the world. I remember when every experience was new, and I was this amazing person that introduced them to these wonders.
I'm nostalgic for my own childhood, and the memories of my youth spent with family and friends. Monday is the second anniversary of my sister's death, still unbelievable to me 24 months later. It was eventually determined to been have caused by an aneurysm; completely out of the blue, no health issues, no warning signs whatsoever, the day before her 56th birthday. November was her birthday month, my mom's birthday month, and my own. My mom died five years ago, the day after her 83rd birthday, the day before my own, and Thanksgiving that year. I don't need a psychologist to help me figure out where the flood of emotions are coming as November approaches. Both these woman in my life had hard lives in their young adulthood. Both were parents too young, without what I now understand, any great resiliency to what becoming a parent would mean. My sister was a teen mom, and my mother just had so many kids, six by the time she was 29 years of age, one after another, with four more coming in her 30's. Both became in time, good mothers, caring and doing whatever it took to raise healthy kids with opportunities for bright futures of their own.
As I type on a lap top computer, using wireless internet, drinking coffee made in 60 seconds from my beloved Keurig, I have embraced modern technology. While I have romantic view of days of old, I am not naive enough to have forgotten the challenges that came with those days. Still, even though we have hundreds of digital scans of photos of my mom and my sister, siblings and my children, and I can pop in a CD and scroll picture to picture, reliving my life with theirs feels so much more tangible looking through photo albums at yellowing pictures. Looking at the two potholders, one pink, and one blue, hanging on my kitchen wall, adorned by my two older children's hand prints more than 23 years ago, I want to touch the outline of their fingers, and pretend I'm holding their little hands. In this month of Thanksgiving, I am acutely aware of the blessings I have. Having nostalgic memories is one of those blessings. While I might be glossing over the challenges, knowing my past was more good by far than hard, is a gift.