A sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
This past Saturday we celebrated my Grandma’s 80th birthday. My aunt and I planned and planned for weeks (thus my little blog hiatus), although she was, I think, the main hostess. My mom, my sister and other aunt were a huge help as well in getting all the last minute things taken care of. I’m happy to report that it seems my Grandma had a fabulous time.
She received cards from people all over the place and even had a surprise guest, her cousin Karen all the way from Everett, WA! She really enjoyed reading everyone’s memories and sweet sentiments.
I was in charge of putting a slide show together of all her old photos, which, as it turns out, is no easy undertaking. When D’s grandma turned 80 a few years ago, we threw her a party, too and I ‘touched up’ all of her photos as well. I’ve discovered, it’s one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, this time around, a lot of the photos that were included had an unfortunate line from when they were scanned…which fell across the prime face region of nearly all the photos. Of course you can’t just leave it there. It took me about 2-3 weeks of J-naps and staying up until 2 or 3 to get them all cleaned up. And it was worth it. My grandma stood there (read: leaning against the wall with her cane) looking at all her photos on the wall laughing and smiling.
But aside from the reaction from her and the guests, I just love looking at old photos of relatives (to clarify…I’m not sure I would care as much about YOUR old photos…is that mean? I’m just saying…yawn.). I think what draws me in is looking for similarities in faces between people from then to now. Like my grandma, for instance. I saw so many photos of her that I had never seen before and the fun thing is…in each stage of her life, she really looked like different people that I know now (IE: my mom, aunt, sister, etc). And I saw a lot of new photos of my mom and aunts when they were young. I always thought I favored my dad’s side, but there was a photo of my mom when she was (I’m guessing) around 10 and I’m telling you, I felt like I was looking at myself at that age. So fun.
Anyway, working on this project makes me so nostalgic. It makes me wish I could travel back in time and talk to all these people…and meet them and ask them questions. See if we have other things in common besides simply being related. Wouldn’t that be so fun? My grandma doesn’t know it yet, but I’m working on lots of questions to ask her because I just really want to know (not questions like what was your favorite color; but questions like: How old were you when you had your first kiss? and Who with? and How did you meet Grandpa? How did he ask you to marry him?). She looked like such a fun person to be around and I don’t want to miss out on those memories! (to clarify again….she’s still lots of fun to be around!).
As I sit and think what it must be like to be 80 and have kids, grandkids…great-grandkids…it has be so surreal. To have EIGHTY YEARS of memories and stories. To sit there and see what your love with another human created. My grandpa has been gone for a number of years now. But looking at some of the photos of them together, it’s so clear they loved each other. He had some mental issues and I know that wasn’t easy for my grandma (or my mom and aunts). But their love is what carried them through and I’m so blessed to have such a courageous woman to look to as an example of patience and love.