My niece Lara said: “You’d better come to my wedding. It’ll probably be the last family celebration before the funerals begin.” So we did. What a heart-warming and unique experience it was, held outdoors at the annual Oregon Country Fair. There was one major glitch (don’t all weddings have one?) – a torrential downpour. It could have ruined the spirits of the sturdiest of souls, but Lara and Marc took it all in stride.
My brother Terry was the first to post photos of the event. Lara and Mark are smiling radiantly under the giant umbrella of a well canopied tree. The rest of us look pretty wet and bedraggled. I see my sister Judi, Lara’s mom. Oh my God, how old she looks. Well she’s lost a lot of weight and let her hair go gray. Then skinny Terry with his thin wet hair matted to his head. And finally me. Oh shit why’d he leave that photo in. My hair is no longer fluffy, (Sebas says he calls me Fufi because my hair is fluffy.) and I look like a face-drooping old lady..
Then it dawns on me. We’ve finally passed over – from middle age to old age. What a scary revelation! But none of us were smiling. And there’s the key. I look back at the smiling photos and they subtract about 10 years. I vow to never let a camera point my way again without a big shit-eating grin on my face.
5 thoughts on “Passing Over”
Most of the kids (us!) are kinda dealing with that sort of thing by hitting our so called middle ages in the 40’s. I’m still somewhat shocked I am even that old. Mentally I still think I’m in my late twenties!
P.S. Mom, I hacked your blog to show the word “Replies” where the number of comments is on your front page so it makes more sense.
BTW, Lara, funny you mention Popa mowing his lawn — I also thought about that. He used to let me help out and push that big ole mower with the carnival wheels. I always loved that. Funny thing is he would hardly water the lawn so it always looked like crap but he’d sure as heck mow it!
Jill, the fact that you are just now becoming aware of your “alleged” aging is grand testimony to your steadfast childlike spirit and joyful approach to life. Look away from the pictures and continue to be awestruck and thankful for the amazing blessings you are presented with every day. I looked at Terry’s pictures of you and the girls on Casey Key. You are right; the smiling pictures are the best!
Well I hope to see that big, shit-eating grin for years to come! I will enjoy seeing all of us age and become the people we are supposed to be at each stage. I adore the wisdom I have gained as I have hit middle age. Though I recall with relish those crazy days of my youth, I realize that nostalgia has filtered out the greater angst of those days and an honest reflection reassures me that the embarrassing impatience and petulance of those days is behind me…
I think you each look beautiful, whether you are smiling or not. Although I know well the sharp judgment of looking at photos of yourself, I have also learned to look for what is revealed — the subtle nuance that others see, but you don’t get to see of yourself. I love that Judi has let her hair go natural and that Ray points out that her profile reminds him of Fifi. I love that you and Terry are so comfortable in your own skin and that each of the three of you have some subtle feature that is reminiscent of Red and Fifi. And in turn, each of your children have similarities to one another and you and your parents. I love that Nicole and Judi have the similar build to Red, while you and I have the thicker-legged Fifi attributes! (Though looking at David, Todd and myself, I think the Cyril butt is mostly prevalent!)…
Anyway, thank you for sharing your photos and your thoughts and for being so enthusiastic in coming all this way out to my wedding. The love and support of family has become such an important part of my living and reflecting. As we have all become farther and farther spread apart, it’s so fulfilling to know that we have become closer and closer in our hearts…
You’re quite a writer, Lara. And thanks for taking the time to respond. We get to know each other and the mechanics of the family better all the time. You’ve always been the one to bring the family together and I love that – and you. Aren’t we a an extraordinary blend of roots and experience, with ideally a great sense of humor mixed in.