As you may recall, last month I totally gimped out and did a lamer than lame post. I was going through some family issues at the time, and well, I just didn't have the time or energy to get creative. Wouldn't you know, my family problems escalated this month. Just last week, I lost my mum. While she'd be ill for a while, I can tell you, I never imagined she'd pass so quickly.
Now don't worry, this isn't going to be an endless blog about dying or my views on the afterlife, but it's brought about another significant change in my life. I'm now the oldest living female in my family. Me!!!! In literally the space of a breath, I've gone from being the next generation to being the last generation, and I'm not exactly sure what to make of it. I mean, I'm not old enough to be the wise woman of the family...
I think what's really hit home for me, is how the passing of a generation also means the passing of traditions. As luck would have it, it's my birthday tomorrow...and it's made me realize that this will be the first birthday I don't get a card in the mail. (yes a few friends will hand me one, but you know what I mean.) My mum was a huge card person. I mean she'd send me a card thanking me for my thank you card. She's probably haunting my butt right now because I haven't sent out proper 'thank you' cards yet for those that came to pay their respects. I can assure you, Hallmark is already feeling the pinch. But I realize that sending cards is a tradition that's gone with her. I'm an e-card kinda girl. I'll send plain one, custom ones, and ones that dance and sing, but I hate spending five dollars on a card people feel guilty about tossing away because they know you've spent five dollars on the damn thing. E-cards I can keep on my computer forever if I'd like. It just seems to make more sense. But it's strange to think an entire tradition just vanishes.
There's other traditions that will be lost as well. Those strange concoctions at holiday dinners... you know that green jello mould thingy that no one liked... gone because I sure as hell don't know how to make it. Now that my be a blessing in disguise, but now I kinda wish I'd learnt, if for no other reason to make my children suffer the same fate I did. (Yes, I am that evil at times:) Then there's the stories...the ones about when she was a kid...silenced forever. And the pictures that no longer make sense because only she knew who was in them.
It makes me wonder about my heritage. How entire cultures manage to pass their information on from one generation to the next, yet for many of us, we can't recall our cousins if someone's not there to tell us their names. I never put much stock in it before, but it makes me question that decision now. Don't get me wrong, Hallmark will have to suffer the loss, and I'm really not fond of green jello, so it looks like the kids are safe. But I'm sure there'll be many times over the next year when I'll stop and say...hey, mum would have known the answer to that one.
So, I'd like to ask the million dollar question...what traditions have or will go in your family? How do you feel about becoming the oldest generation? Any words of wisdom? Feel free to leave a comment if you've also made this auspicious rite of passage, or if you're wise beyond your years...me, not so much.
I'll leave you with the lyrics of a song that's been haunting my mind for the past week. It's by Sarah McLachlan, called I Will Remember You..
I will remember you, will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by,
Wait not for the memory.
Dedicated to my mum...Lee.
While fleeting in my hand, you're forever in my heart.
Romancing life...one adventure at a time.