To Have and To Hold

The beauty of love never gets old. This past Saturday, it walked like a boss with my stunning grandgirl, straight down a grassy aisle to tie the knot with her sweetheart. It shined in the eyes of my first born daughter who now stood as mother of the bride. And it filled the soul of this grandma as I watched my only granddaughter get married.

Love is love. But it gets even more unconditional, bountiful and expansive when you become a grandparent. The ties that bind two people in marriage also tie generations together. This weekend I celebrated this young woman who made me a (very young) first time grandma as she entered into another family circle — her own. Yet, the circle is wide, and peopled with ancestors none of us have ever met. And in the circle, the faces, the personalities of our children will one day exist in grandchildren of theirs.

“Grandchildren connect the dots from one generation to another.”

A sparkling pair of my favorite earrings danced in the light as her wedding ‘borrowed; an intricate lace gown vintage new.  ‘Something blue’ was the ‘missing’ felt by both bride and groom of their cherished grandparents, loved and lost. Somehow, I just knew, though, that amidst the ‘eat, drink and be merry’, the grandpa who taught her to drive and shared her love of Broadway was hangin’ out, wishing he could sneak some cake. Continue reading

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Four Funerals and a Wedding

Happy couple in their new home concept

Nope, not the Hugh Grant comedy.  Jill Smolowe’s book, Four Funerals and a Wedding, is pretty much anything but comedic. Her book chronicles not only her personal grief journey but how she coped and grew along the way. In one chapter she mentions how her therapist suggested that her grief began on the first day of her husband’s diagnosis. That struck me as pretty profound.  Given that my husband’s diagnosis was levied 3 months before we were even married, I realized it would not be at all surprising that unconscious grief followed us through those years. Even as we lived and loved as fully as we possibly could, we grieved by inches.

How do you measure the knowledge, however much you stash it in the closet or ‘put on a happy face’, that many dreams just won’t come true? No, my mind never went in the direction of Charlie Brown’s Sally who said “She didn’t want to live and threw herself in front of a Zamboni”. It was just that gray leaden feeling, a sense that no matter what your plans, there would always be an expiration date that coexisted with the daily business of living. Where cancer lives, everything becomes more complicated and layered. All of life takes on a different hue. Continue reading