Last weekend was my aunt's 50th birthday party.
Her sons plotted and planned to fill a local historic inn with her friends and family to surprise her.
They schemed on how to get her there without any suspicions on her part saying the woman who owned the inn, a friend of the family, wanted to take her picture on her birthday. One of the men joked that Adrienne, the owner probably didn't own a camera much less know how to work one as everyone gathered in the hall to greet my aunt as she walked in. Luckily my aunt was none the wiser.
When she walked in the door to yells of surprise and flashbulbs, she began to cry and had to leave the room to compose herself.
As we all made our ways back to our seats admiring the architectural details of the inn and chatting, somehow I had never noticed before how we had all grown up. My generation was now married, had embarked on careers, and some of us even had children.
When had that happened?
When had we become the adults in the room when I wasn't looking? We weren't the young children anymore. We were the parents of the young children.
What did the scene look from my aunt's eyes?
Was it a reminder of how fast time flies and the losses experienced or a reminder that some things stay constant and strong and how much we have in our lives in the here and now? Maybe both?
Even though my generation had grown you could still see the ties to our families and our family's friends were still there. The entertainer was the daughter of a dear friend of my aunt's who was a singer in NYC (her rendition of "The Girl in 14G" was amazing) and who reminded me that it has been way to long since I had been to NYC to see a show. I had known she sang but I had never heard her. She was amazing. The caterer I believe was in some way related to my aunt-a niece I think.
Ribbons of love wound through the room wrapping the scene in a large invisible bow-more impressive than any bow on any present.
One day it will be our children all grown up. I couldn't help wondering what my children, my friends' children, and our nieces and nephews will be like when they are all grown up. Who will they be? For a few moments I wished for just a glance into a crystal ball or more fitting-the mirror over the fireplace. Just one glance at what the future would hold.
But where would the fun be in that? Life is about living and experiencing. That would be cheating. It would be like skipping the middle of a book and reading the last few pages.
All I know is that I hope our children are healthy, happy, and capable of opening their hearts to receive and to give large amounts of love.
That would be enough for me.
Well, and a fabulous 50th birthday like my aunt's when that milestone birthday comes around, completely surrounded by a roomful of loved ones and the reminders of a life well lived.
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