Sunday was full of moments when all I wanted was to freeze time. Moments full of long love- love that has stood the test of time, the wear of family squabbles, and the lapses that sometimes come with physical distance.
Watching my mom walk to her brother’s bedside, lay her hand on his forehead and gently stroke his head as she leaned in and spoke quietly to him. His eyes didn’t open, his chest continued to rise and fall, rise and fall. I wanted to freeze time.
Hugs between cousins who had not seen each other in decades, for reasons that are now forgotten and probably never should have existed. I didn’t want to let go.
Seven women from four generations sitting in a circle in a waiting room, creating warmth that the room lacked, laughing through tears, holding hands, looking back and thinking ahead. I soaked in all that strength sitting together in that room.
And later, driving through crystal clear afternoon sunlight in the Virginia countryside to visit one of my mother’s oldest friends- the woman my sister is named for- the woman who was there the night my parents met- the woman whose husband was one of my father’s few close, trusted friends.
Seeing my mom hold her hand, watching their eyes fill with tears as they said goodbye at the end of our visit. Because when you are 80 and your friend is 87 and you live 400 miles apart, you don’t know. You don’t know when you’ll see each other again. If you’ll have another chance to sit surrounded by memories on the walls and tabletops, reminiscing about long ago times, chatting about current conditions. I watched their every move, taking pictures in my mind, wishing I had a camera, but knowing that the images will linger in my memory.
This is a bittersweet week for my family. My father died nineteen years ago this week. If he were still alive he would be 93 this week. My uncle’s condition is grave. But my mom is with me. My girls are close. And on Sunday I experienced many moments that reminded me that there is nothing quite like long love. I am oh so thankful for long love.
I am also thankful for Stacey, Beth, Anna, Dana, Betsy, Deb, Kathleen, and Tara for hosting the SOL writing challenge each week here.