Making Memories While You Can
Last May my niece Alicia got married in the beautiful state of California. Our family decided to make it a family trip, my son and his girlfriend drove down from B.C. My daughter and her boyfriend, flew, then rented a camper van and drove down from San Francisco. And John and I spent a few days in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco and then rented a car and drove down to the wedding. We rented a house in a beautiful little seaside town of Moro Bay, a short but epic drive to the wedding.
It was a small house, but we managed with one bathroom and made some great memories. One of the best memories is the great food we shared, thanks to our chef Drew and his helpers. We walked the beach, took crazy pictures in town and just had a great time with no agenda.
The wedding was in a beautiful winery. The most wonderful
part of it was that we were all together.
We are not extremely close to this side of the family. To be completely honest, I am not really even officially related anymore, as this is my family from my first husband. Larry passed away before our first anniversary, so there has been lots of water under that bridge since 1980. But these are the people that have been a constant for myself and my kids. We are still part of the family, even when it is a little hard to explain at times how we fit into it.
The Wedding Day
My brother- in-law who has sick for years, was beaming as his little girl got married, and my mother-in-law, was so proud of her favorite grandchild, the doctor of the family now.
The wedding was fun, and the next day we all gathered at the Mother and Father of the Brides for a lazy day by the pool. All the young ones, soaking in the pool, with cocktails flowing and lots of laughter. The older folks sitting in the shade, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine.
We said our good-byes a few days later and we all dispersed into cars and planes and made our way home to Canada. Not knowing what the future will bring, we all assumed many more years of gathering like this wedding. But....
Last month my brother-in-law (the father of the bride) passed away and last week my mother-in-law (grandmother of the bride) passed away.
I am so grateful that we had the finances and made it a priority to make the trip to California. We will always have warm memories of both Brian and Alice celebrating Alicia's big day and the fun we had as a family.
In 1979, I married the love of my life, this was his family. We didn't have much when we got married, but we had a close family, a cute little house and more love than anyone can ask for. We had an opportunity to take a trip to Hawaii for a Firefighter's ball tournament, and scraped the money together to go. We ate at McDonald's more times than I want to remember, but we went and had fun. And a month later he died.
What I am saying in this story, is you never know when someone you care about is going to be gone. Take time to make some memories, be there for the special occasions, celebrate every opportunity you get.
Life is so precious and short. Tell those you care about you love them. Let go of the stuff that does not matter and hold on to the special times.
Photos: Wedding photo of California Wedding. And my son, his girlfriend and daughter and her boyfriend in Moro Bay, enjoyed the beach.
Dianna Bowes is the founder and Creative Director of Fabulous@50 and the editor of Be Fabulous! Magazine. Dianna was the winner of the 2011 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Turning Point category and the 2014 Leader of Tomorrow Business Award. She is a creative soul, who loves connecting people and embracing life. Travel, great food, family, friends and a long bike ride on a sunny day are her definitions of great life. To read more about Dianna's story click here.