Shortly after my husband Loren and I married, we moved to San Francisco to start our new careers and new life. As the moving van was pulling up in front of our new apartment, we noticed two small children sitting on the stoop of the apartment two doors down. Kent was about five, and Blair was about three and their mother, Nancy, soon joined us as we spent the afternoon getting acquainted and watching the moving men. Questions like, “why do you need that couch?” were the order of the afternoon. During the two years we lived in San Francisco, we became very close with our new neighbors. They served as role models for what a family looks like and how two small boys live and grow. After two years, we moved to Anchorage Alaska where Loren and I started our own family and had our own two boys, Evan and Perry, who had about the same distance in years between them as did Kent and Blair. Over the ensuing years, we met up with our friends, they visited us and we visited them. The reunions were an opportunity to share our lives and watch each other’s boys grow up and turn into young men.
This past August we had a unique family trip. My niece was getting married in Wyoming and we decided to make the wedding an opportunity for our family to get together and share a vacation. We also invited Evan and Perry’s girlfriends along (they are both named Julie) and this was our first experience with an extended family vacation. We took advantage of this trip as an opportunity to visit our old friends who are now living in Boulder and spend a couple of days with them. Kent and Blair are each now married and living close by in Denver so an extended family dinner was the perfect evening planned for the day after we arrived. Nancy cooked a spectacular dinner which we ate on the back deck, enjoying the Colorado sunset as candle light replaced the daylight. Everyone was there and I was truly moved by the moment. I sat back, watched and reflected. Our coming together was a sort of full circle. Both sets of children, now grown and with their significant others, Loren and myself, Jack and Nancy. It was an amazing evening filled with love and friendship.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, took a single photo.
I am still flabbergasted that this monumental event occurred and we have absolutely no documentation. Yes, we have the memory, and over time, we will know that we met but the details and emotional impact will dim. “What year was it? 2007 or 2008?” “Was that the year I cooked the tri-tip steak or was it something else?” Part of the reason I am writing this posting is to get this memory down, sealed, and in my own records. But what I wouldn’t give to go back and get some photographs. The proud parents’ faces, the next generation full of excitement and enthusiasm, the loving expressions between the young couples. I see the memory in my mind’s eye but nobody else can see the view from here.
Thanksgiving is next week. Friends and family will be getting together to share meals and give thanks for all we have. Make sure to have the camera there, the battery charged and an empty roll of film or image card. In the next few posts, I will talk about some ways to create some memories this holiday season.