old acquaintance

Should old acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind
Should old acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne

Through this year’s holiday season of gathering, reflection, change, these words ring true to me much more than a passing chorus.

Bits and pieces of these past days…a house full of teenagers, college students, Christmas cookies being decorated…

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My grown kids returning home for the holidays, still looking for reindeer elf and candy and handwritten notes….and wanting all of us to open Christmas presents in onesies…..

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A holiday wedding, dear old friends giving away their firstborn daughter, the first baby born among our friends, radiant in her beautiful dress as my husband’s college roommate tearfully walked her down the aisle…

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Among all this, my mother,
89 years old
whom we remind, “It’s Christmas morning, Lola,” as my kids climb into bed with her in pajamas,
thinks the new year we are ringing in is 1990.

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Scotland.org states the words auld lang syne mean “long, long ago.” The chorus translates to:

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.

To live with someone with Alzheimer’s deepens the meaning of this New Year’s traditonal song, for each day lives out someone who has forgotten old acquaintances, faces, names, even the names and faces of the ones who care for her daily

and long, long ago is forgotten.

Yesterday mom asked me if her mom and dad were still around, as she was thinking of going home to the Philippines to take care of them. They have been gone for more than fifty years.

As the last refrains of auld lang syne fade out
and I reflect on the fireworks show bringing in the new year

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I will cherish even more the snapshots of this holiday season,

the not so perfectly decorated big fat Christmas tree crashing to the floor

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at the very moment a rat was trapped, the one chewing up the engine of my car

20140103-163147.jpg…….screams issuing everywhere …(the tree was eventually restraightened and rescued by  fishing line tied to the door)….

the dozens of homemade decorated Christmas cookies baked for hours and consumed in minutes.

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the silly games shared with old friends
the conversations shared with old friends,

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ones whose weddings we stood in
launched careers with,
birthed babies
raised preschoolers, then adolescents
and now watch these very children launch their own careers and share their father/daughter dance.

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What’s amazing is that even the kids seem to take in the significance of this……the old acquaintance part….the kids who rode around together in the neighborhood, played for hours in Disney costumes, filmed Star Wars spin off videos, shared picnics in the park…they too want to record the significance of changing moments…

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for as our families shift, grieving losses…

loss of childhood,  loss of control, loss of parents,  evolving parental roles…..and welcome new relationships, and new dynamics in relationships…

our hearts are made bigger as we broaden our family circles, as we hold hands and hug tighter through these seasons of change.

And yes tears are shed as we long for the old days
when our kids held our hands and snuggled
and we laughed and played together.

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Now our laughter is deeper and our tears source from a deeper well
and these friendships

deep, familiar, part of our core

remind me of one of my favorite verses:

for now we see in a glass dimly,
but then we shall see face to face....

I am grateful for these moments of friendship that are full on, face to face….
full of laughter and tears,
full of rejoicing, and loss,
friendships that have spanned over 25 years…

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though someday, these moments may be forgotten,
they will be forever cherished.

9 thoughts on “old acquaintance

  1. Beautiful remembrances…<3

  2. Lovely, Vin. Lovely.

  3. 🙂

  4. So beautifully written and so true. Stan and I will cherish this piece as it so expresses out sentiments that we could have never written so well. Love the pictures. Looking forward to sharing many more weddings and phases of our life with our dear friends.

    • Jama
      Funny I did not expect to be so moved by all the events of the evening, the tears, the toasts, the kids…..but I was, and it all spilled over into this! I wanted to write you and tell you everything…..so that’s how this all came about. You and Stan were incredible with everything….so happy for all of you!

  5. Wonderful! But really, did you HAVE to freak me out by posting that RAT photo! I screamed! Miss you!

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