Soon after Mom moved into the nursing home, we began to break up her household. One gray morning, I came across her cameras tucked away in a cabinet. She’d owned several in her lifetime. I believe she had kept them all. In one camera, that cold March morn, I found a treasure – an undeveloped roll of film. She had shot it a year or so earlier, most at a grandson’s birthday party. The last frames were from her granddaughter’s wedding. They were all priceless Kodak© moments, made doubly so by the circumstances of their discovery.
Mom captured our images on film when we were infants, as we grew, as we dated and were married, then had children of our own. But as she grew older, it seemed that family gatherings had the most meaning for her. It is evident in her collection of pictures.
As families age, the cousins we played with in childhood often move away. Our siblings become engrossed in their own children and grandchildren. When the last bond that brings a family together passes on, a grandparent or great-grandparent, I believe that something in that family passes as well.
The time comes when we begin to see family members only at weddings, and at funerals. While there, we take scores of group photos because we know it may be years before we see each other again. We sit down to talk. At first, we catch up on our lives – school, work, hobbies, travel. Then, so soon, the talk reverts to childhood. Do you remember when…? What about that time when…? We talk and laugh until our throats are sore and our voices are hoarse. The next morning we gather for breakfast and talk some more, until that last hug in in the driveway amid promises to keep in touch.
Weddings and funerals are glorious events. They are a celebration of life, and of family. I believe Mom knew that.
→ As a writer, romance or otherwise, do you ever include a wedding or funeral in your stories?