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All We Need…

1936 - Mildred Buyalski

I sit quietly amidst the noise and just watch.  I watch the smiles and conversations. I watch the laughter and kindness.  I watch the memories of gatherings past as they float in the air.  I watch the love.  There is no other place I would rather be in that moment.  Each second of the day is photographed and deposited in a special place in my memory which is already full of memories from years past, and I realize in that moment the truth that so many already knew…all we need is love.

It has only been a week since we celebrated my grandmother’s 100th birthday.  I feel like I blinked and the day was over.  I imagine she feels that way about life for truly I do, and I have only lived half as long as she has.  One thing was clear that day, even if her life feels like it went by fast, it certainly has gone by full…full of friendship, family, kindness and love.  It exuded from the crowd that gathered to celebrate with her and from the cards and flowers that arrived throughout the week.  I can only hope someday to have lived a life that full!

I stretched myself the day of her party and walked through the fear I have of socializing and talked to everyone I could, even going so far to introduce myself to strangers.  I wanted to know how they knew my grandmother and delve into the parts of her life I knew little about.  I wanted to hear the love and soak in it to know more about the woman I have loved for so long.  It was the best decision I have made in a long time for it solidified to me what is the most important thing in life…love.

When the party was over and the only ones that were left were the small intimate group of immediate family, we gathered one more time at my grandmother’s house, and there I sat and watched and listened.  I noticed everything.  The laughter of my grandmother as my daughter told her something funny.  The squeal of my cousin’s daughter as my husband teased her.  The sound of the TV with the Bears game playing as my cousins watched the game.  The sound of the kitchen sink as someone washed a dish.  I memorized the pattern of the wallpaper in the living room that my grandfather had carefully placed oh so long ago as well as the horse statues that cover the shelves and the frames displaying images of family still with us and those long gone.  I stared at my baby picture and graduation picture along with my brothers and cousins that cover the walls.  The memories came flooding through with each sound and each image and I had to fight the tears.  So many celebrations and gatherings happened in my grandmother’s house and so much love!

We are truly blessed in life and most of the time we don’t even notice it.  We are too busy looking for the next moment to soak in the one we are in.  My grandmother has lived a life so wondrous and the people surrounding her that day helped paint a picture of her past and present moments.  She is truly blessed.  She has given and been given so much love and after all…all we need is love.

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