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Generations. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...

There aren't many major life events in a small family. I can probably catalog them in 25 words or less for my own lifetime for myself, our parents, our sibs and our/their kids:

Six weddings. Six funerals. Four christenings. The occasional multi-family celebration of a Thanksgiving or Christmas. And, most to the point, five graduations from college or higher levels of education- soon to be six, once Emily crosses the stage day after tomorrow.

(Meh. I count 41 words. Close enough for blogging.)

It is rare for all of us, few as we are, to all be in attendance at anything except the funerals (and that attendance number necessarily goes down on its own, duh). Best as I can recall, in fact, the only one of them that all the then-members of my family attended- both parents, both sisters and my then-only unclees- was my college graduation, 33 years ago this weekend.

Naturally for us, it was what my mother called "compicated." My father and the middle sister had been estranged, by then, for most of the previous 15 years, and while there had been occasional thaws, Ithaca was again a chilly place that May. Everyone was there, but everyone was not together. The two of them could not sit in the same stadium section, or break bread at the same table when it was done. The closest we got to peace was Donna coming to the restaurant and giving me my graduation gift- a watch, one I still have and would still wear if smartphones and such hadn't made it unnecessary- and somehow no battles broke out.

So I have no photos, or memories, of the nine of us all together on that day, the first any of us had earned a bachelors degree. I do, however, have this, and a few like it:

That may be the last time Sandy and I had a just-us picture taken together. (There are several of her at our wedding six years later, but none I recall of just us two.) She would've been almost 42 in that picture, and seven years later she'd be gone.

I will be Emily's only relative on "my side" when she becomes that newest BFA on Friday. Gladly, it's not acrimony keeping anyone away but just the logistics of distance and "compicated" lives. Eleanor's brother, the only remaining Rochesterian among us, will be the only other rel from Mom's side. So we won't have the photo ops, but I hope we will all- ALL- get to check in with each other some time Friday, so we can make our memories from a distance and let her know how proud we all are of how far she's come.


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tilia_tomentosa From: tilia_tomentosa Date: May 22nd, 2014 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Having relatives that aren't likely to kill one another if you gather them all in the same place is a blessing. ;)

Good luck with getting in touch all with all your long-distance people. :)
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