Ravel’s “Bolero”. For those of you who remember this magnificent piece of music, it begins quiet and serene and very gradually, almost achingly so, builds up to a crescendo that is exciting and wonderful. That is a little like our last couple of weeks. The crescendo was Bernie’s and my 50th anniversary party which was held this past Sunday at the Little Falls Golf Club. It was somewhat like a memorial service except that those being honored were in attendance. (Isn’t that what we all want?) I say this because of the words spoken by our four children, the two members of our wedding party that graced us with coming, and two friends whom we’d asked to take part in a program we loosely put together.
Both Bernie and I were touched by the memory sharing of our kids. These were, of course, stories of good times in our family, as one would expect. It seemed that the painful times were not even close to being on anyone’s mind at this momentous event. Every family has happy moments to share, but what surprised us is the praise of our character that they seemed to glean from these memories. We felt so touched.
When I reflect on our family over the last 50 years, I imagine a raggedy quilt with pieces barely hanging on by broken threads and parts faded and stained. In a way, it seems to be a miracle that it is still in one piece. But like an old quilt it comforts us and warms us.
Things are quiet around our house now. The bulk of the family has gone. For the daughter who lives nearby, life has returned to normal. We are delighted that our granddaughter, Alissa, who came to our event all the way from Australia, is still here so that we can get to know her husband Assad as the new family member. Family is central to him, he tells us, and he is showing that by the way he engages himself with each family member. I have noticed how nothing slips him by, whether the activities of the smaller children or the comments by the teens and adults. He is totally present.
Ravel’s crescendo is behind us now and the memory of friends and family coming together to celebrate our special day still lingers. It feels very good.