You can’t get to my age without having noticed that life is one big balancing act and that is never more prevalent when love is involved. We enter this world helpless yet surrounded by people who love us unconditionally and, it seems most of us leave this world in the same way and that was evidenced by my own family very recently. Within the span of one week, my small family gathered to say goodbye to a loved one and welcomed a soon to be new family member.
It started with the funeral of a widowed, elderly aunt who at the end of her life needed the support of her family to get through each day. Plagued by a myriad of health problems in her waning years, dementia became another cruel blow for someone already struggling.
She passed away a few months ago, but living in another state, it took some time to make arrangements for her funeral back home. My family is indeed small, but hers was even more so and as I arrived at the cemetery I realized that I didn’t recognize anyone. The cousins I should have been close to had become virtual strangers to me, yet by the time the day was done, I had reconnected. The children I had last seen were now adults with lives and families of their own and the day that started with sad tears ended up balanced by laughter as stories from our childhoods were exchanged and the family was reconnected.
The sadness of her passing weighed on me until just seven short days later when my family joined with the family of a young man we had come to know and love in celebration of a niece that is soon to be his bride. As with the funeral, the faces of the soon to be in-laws were unfamiliar and small talk about the weather and lack of rain dominated the conversation at first. It was to be a long day of trying to say something of interest to complete strangers until the bride began to open her shower gifts and as each lovingly wrapped present was unveiled, stories were shared until soon the entire room was awash in smiles and laughter.
We will wait until the fall to see the true balancing act when this lovely young man becomes part of our family, and when he does, we will have gained an extended family in his mother and siblings and their families.
Looking back at this past week I reflect once again about the balance of life. A week that began in sadness and tears has been balanced by love and joy. It is the way of life and something to remember when sorrow overwhelms us or when our lives seem to be perfect. As with spring and fall and summer and winter, life is a balancing act and the best we can hope for is that we experience more good than evil, more highs than lows and more happiness than sorrow.
As we begin a new week, a week when none of us knows what happiness or sorrow awaits, I wish for each of you peace and tranquility, happiness and laughter and more than anything – love.
Be well my friends….