This past weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about time. My family’s 8th annual reunion in Vermont began as a memorial weekend in honor of my cousin Hal who passed away at the age of 44 from pancreatic cancer; so that my aunt and uncle wouldn’t have to spend his birthday weekend alone, we came together to comfort them that first year and celebrate his life. We’ve kept up the tradition ever since.
Each year, we take a family photo. For the past three years, my cousin has turned these photos into a puzzle that we then put together the following year:
Particularly notable about these past three years is the progression of K – from baby bump to infant to toddler. In 2015 he learned to crawl during our Vermont weekend; this year he was marching up and down the stairs on his own, helping us cook, singing on the karaoke machine.
Time is both subjective and objective; this morning we “lost” an hour of our day, but it takes 2 1/2 hours each way to drive from our house to Vermont. When I was a teenager I couldn’t wait to grow up and move out of the house; now I’m hoping I can hold off this lightning-quick progression through my 30s. Some things take forever, while there are a lot of things that can be “too soon.” My beloved cousin Hal was taken from our family too soon. It’s too soon for my sweet baby boy to be a preschooler. And yet, here we are.
When we left today, I gave my aunt Ellen, the hostess for our gathering, a big hug. “Thank you for everything,” I said as we embraced. “This is one of my favorite weekends of the entire year.” And it’s true. I cannot stop the progress of time, but I can enjoy marking it, celebration by celebration.