It has been a very full weekend. These pictures are a humble attempt to capture the magic of this weekend...the love of a family getting together to celebrate and honor a person's birthday. There are so many things I want to say but right at this moment I think it is time to back away and let the pictures tell their own story of the weekend. Love and peace...
Memories. At my age there are so many memories that I am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed with all the blessings that have been my life. Yet, I am also overwhelmed with the sad events of my life. Yes, the sadness is a blessing too.
My parents were older when I was born. I was what I jokingly call a "surprise" or as I would kid my parents "That will teach you to fool around in your old age." LOL The advantage was and is growing up with older people. Throughout my life I've always been very comfortable hanging out with older people. I fondly remember being 10 years old and having dinner with my Mom and Dad and then hopping on my Schwinn bicycle and racing down the road two miles or more to George and Celia Stevens house to have dinner with them too! Pancakes with green tea is what I remember with a smile on my face and in my heart. And I remember listening to their stories of the lumber days in northern Wisconsin...for they were frontier people and quite old when I knew them. They are just and example...for there was Esther and Charlie too...Charlie had been a lumberjack...and he loved telling tall tales. Again as I remember those moments I smile both with my face and with my heart.
I gained a depth and width of knowledge from hanging out with these older friends than I would have ever gained with friends my own age.
So, now I am an older man. The years have flown by and I now witness my nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews coming of age...growing up from the bright and funny children into bright and fun adults. Truly, I am blessed.
However, everyone else that I grew up with is now dead. That is the true disadvantage of being born so late in my family's life. My brother died a little over a year ago. I am what I call "the last one standing" for my whole immediate family...all of those that I grew up with are now dead. It is indeed a strange point to be at in my life. It is a very lonely point to be at for although I am surrounded with chosen family and my nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews...they do not know or remember the people I've known.
Yes, I am blessed with the love I have in my life. I am not complaining. Yet, I would so love to hear my Mother's voice once again, to hear my Dad scolding me (for I was always in trouble with him), to talk to my brother once again, to hear Marion's laughter, to see Aunt Tina zooming up the driveway of my parent's house in her black Ford Falcon grinding gears every step of the way, to be in my Aunty Libby's kitchen with the smell of a pot roast cooking, to hear my Aunt Ruth chortling with laughter over the phone at some joke I've just told her....
Yes. I miss them all, I love them all. And I cannot help but feel very lonely at times...
Although I am not a particularly religious person, I consider myself to be a spiritual person. Therefore I recognize and honor this very holy day.
On this holy day, my thoughts turn to the "Lord's Prayer." Almost all of us know it in it's King James version and repeated each and every Sunday at church. This version as we know it was first translated from Aramaic to Koine Greek...and from Koine Greek translated into Latin...and lastly from Latin into ole English. Even with all of that translation...it is a wonderful prayer.
However, today I share the Aramaic to English translation. Jesus spoke Aramaic...so this translation is much closer to what Jesus said and to what he meant (although Rev. Nartoomid does add some embellishment):
The Lord's Prayer (as translated by Rev. Simeon Nartoomid)
Oh beloved Father aspect of All Creation
Who resides in the eternal cosmos
And Who art present in all things
And all levels of creation.
May Thy name always be held sacred
Within our hearts, our minds and our souls,
And all of the earth.
May Thy Kingdom reign
Upon the Mother earth
As it is in the heavens
Through our attunement to Thy Will.
May we be open enough to receive the sustenance of
Thy eternal life every day henceforth,
Which ensures our daily bread upon the earth.
And may we be open to Thy all-loving Grace
Which cleanses us of all imbalances and impurities,
As we also open ourselves to be a channel of
Thy all-loving Grace for others.
And may our attunement to Thee keep us
From straying from Thy Kingdom,
And deliver us from any illusions
Of our separation from Thee which spawn darkness.
For we recognize that the only true power,
Glory and kingdom is Yours
And can manifest within us,
And our world,
And is eternal.