A Party Left Undone (ms)

The invitation said, “The honor of your presence at the wedding of…” and detailed the date and time. It was in a city several hours from home which meant a long drive and an overnight stay. It was family though and one does things for family they might not otherwise do.

The party started on time that evening as the happy couple and their entourage made a proper formal entrance. You know how it goes the announcement of each member of the party followed by, for the first time in public the announcer hastens to add, Mr. And Mrs….. In that way their lives together formally begins.

At our table sat family that we had not seen for a long time, probably since the last wedding or funeral for that’s how it goes. You say you’ll get together and the promise is an honest one but things seem to get in the way and you never do. When the get-together finally does happen it can be almost shocking.

I sat across from members of my family that I had played with as a kid, spent time with at summer outings, sat around the tree with looking at Christmas gifts. Here we were now with grown children of our own, grandchildren in some cases. Inevitably someone asked, “Where did all the time go?” Where indeed.

The years marched on almost unnoticed stacking up one atop the other. Years turned into decades and we all became gray, added a few pounds, carried pictures of the grandkids, asked each other about so and so only to find out he or she had passed on. “Never knew that happened,” someone would say, “isn’t that too bad.” We shook our heads in unison then poured more coffee and had some cookies, a silent toast perhaps to those who’d gone, to those still here.

An aunt came over and being close to ninety she walked slowly but she made it. Ask her about things and she’ll say she’s getting along as well as could be expected. I concluded that if I am lucky enough to reach her age and have my faculties about me I would be satisfied to do half as well. Good sturdy stock that generation.

We left early in the evening. Wedding celebrations are for people much younger, those who can tolerate the level of sound musicians like to maintain. Besides, it had been a long day, a long drive. There would be another the next day so a little sleep was in order.

I decided it would be good to have such a gathering maybe once a year; no wedding, no funeral, just a sit around and shoot the breeze kind of thing. Maybe there would be some food but maybe there would just be coffee and conversation. It would give us all a chance to see where we are in life and maybe gauge how far we have to go. Of course we probably won’t do it for that is the way things go. Still, it would be nice to keep track of a few years before they fade away for good.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on April 4, 2011.

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