Today is my mother’s 89th birthday, a day of gratitude and celebration.. The family is gathering at our home, and we’ll take mom out to dinner and return here for cake, coffee and conversation.
Family gatherings help us to focus on who and what should be most important in our lives – our family and the time we spend with them. Spending time with an elderly parent captures moments that would otherwise be lost to the memories that sustain us when they’re gone. Hold on to these moments, cherish them as they come, because they are not infinite and each one is precious as a result.
Family gatherings, especially celebrations, bring us closer together, and ward off the loneliness and isolation we may feel if estranged from family over petty differences and disagreements. Always keep in mind that life is fickle, and none of us know how many tomorrows we have left.
And so we celebrate today, making memories with the moments we are given, building our memory bank of good and happy days, of sharing a sense of family, strengthening the ties that bind, secure in the knowledge that they will be there for us when we most need them.
As I write this, I am reminded of lyrics from the Simon and Garfunkel song: Bookends:
…Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you…
So we are going to make hay while the sun shines. We will celebrate these moments we have with her, filing them away for a time when our moments with her have run out. We will celebrate her long life and the wonderful family she has created. We will wish her many more, and celebrate each day ahead with the joy it deserves. For nothing is worth more than this day. Celebrate it, cherish it and make memories to last a lifetime. In the end, they’re all that’s left you.
nothing is worth more than today
a simple thought but true
for the past is lost and no one has ever
promised tomorrow to you
so embrace today as the moments unfold
each one more precious than silver or gold
love and be loved, live and forgive
and show true compassion for all living things
then you’ll find peace of mind and joy of the soul
and your spirit will soar on gossamer wings