As I looked around the Church this morning, I could not help but reminisce about my family and our own traditions. And, sadly, how some of them seem to have been lost...well, maybe not lost, maybe more like put on hold. Since all of us have grown up into that "adult children" phase, maybe new traditions shall come about once we start having our own kids. We used to have so many traditions. Ft. Walton for Easter, Carolin Christmas Parties, Christmas Day at my mom's parents house, trips Up North with the whole family during the summer. As everyone has grown up and moved away, we rarely hold onto these. I so cherish the ones we do still practice (Thanksgiving at Uncle Kevin's, reading A Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve together even if it means reading it over the phone). Of all the traditions my family had, I did have a personal favorite (besides Florida for Easter. Nothing can top that).
Weekends at Grandma's. Those were so special. My mom's lovely, beautiful, compassionate mother was my hero from a very young age. She was sweet- to everyone. I loved spending time with her and cherished every moment. The girl cousins in town were lucky enough that we got to spend a whole Saturday-Sunday with Grandma every two months or so(And Grandpa too..I'll get to him). We rotated turns, and I always looked forward to my turn. We were treated like princesses. We were given the chance to buy our very own book (my Grandma was a librarian. She met my grandpa in a library. I know, they win cutest people ever award), choose a movie to rent, and go out to dinner, or have dinner in, whichever we wanted. In the summer, we went out for ice cream. I don't remember the conversations we had, but I remember how happy I was, how loved I felt. Not that I wasn't getting love at home, but it was just special with Grandma. I was felt like I was in the presence of someone great around her..probably because I was. On Sunday mornings at their house I would wake up to the smell of bacon- my Grandpa's bacon, the best bacon you would ever eat in your life. Now I know I've been talking about my Grandma, but Gramps was pretty incredible himself. He's kind of indescribable. He was hilarious, strict yet had a heart so full of love and energy. We would sit around the table, Grandpa pouring butter on everything, Grandma filling my glass with orange juice. I looked forward to those weekends and had them up until I was 11 or 12, when I was "too cool" for weekends with Grandma anymore. If I had only known that my Grandma would not live much longer, after passing away from Leukemia within 24 hours of being diagnosed when I was 14, I would have spent every single weekend with her.I miss our old traditions, and my grandparents (both sets. I did not know my dad's parents as well, I'd only known them as being sick). But I am so glad that I have such happy family memories and traditions to look back on.
Here's to old traditions, and here's to building new ones. To my family, I love you. Thank you for providing me with such a happy, loving, safe childhood and for continuing to protect and support me.
Do you have a favorite traditions? Have your traditions changed over the years?