And then there were 5…(generations)

The passage of time is so sneaky, we hardly note the ‘tick-tick-tock’ of life’s clock.  Then one day we awake and realize that we have grown old(er) {see: Old in San Diego, from the August 2011 blog archive}.  Sometimes it is sad, as when we realized that our childhoods were really over; and sometimes it represents relief, as when I finally exited my 20’s…that Generation-X thing was not for me.  However, during those very early days of my 20’s, I clearly remember the birth of my niece Nichole…I was then still in college and off to Salzburg, Austria to study the German language with my life-long friend Richard.  Now here comes the ‘sneaky’ part…

That little baby girl–which is how I will always think of her (unfair, I know)–has just given birth to her own little girl after a few years of marriage to her fine young man of a husband, Shawn.  Like a shot in the arm, this birth raised the awareness of all my immediate family members, but I must say that it was I who recognized first that my family has 5 living generations.  My grandmother (just shy of 100 years old), my parents (both in their 80’s), my siblings (basically 50-something’s all), my nieces (early/mid 20’s), and now my GREAT niece–which sounds so weird–at scarcely one week old.

Suddenly we are all actually grateful for the passage of time, as not so many families out there can enjoy the designation of having 5 living generations.  But it is really humbling to think of what these family members have seen over the course of 100 years, and indeed, what we have all shared together:  the joys, the withering/mind numbing heartaches, the fun, the food, the arguments, the silly grudges, and the “what’s still to come”.  While my Aunt bravely battles cancer, my Mother seems to defy age; as my Father quietly manages a body shattered by a life of hard labor, my Grandmother lives in the quiet enclave of her mind; as my Sister begins a personal life anew, my Brother watches his three daughters become young women and mothers; as my Nieces have children, or wallow in the glow of their boyfriend, or diligently study and acerbically journal their lives, I continue to wander the world in search of applause and relevance…

But goodness only knows WHAT little Blakely Marie will see in her lifetime!  As Louis Armstrong sang so very well…”They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know…”

Now, if I can only orchestrate the taking of a single photo of these 5 generations, I will have pulled off quite the coup.  Might be hard, as the distance of several states separates us all.  But don’t count it out…what a photo finish that would be!!!