No matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, the days my brother, Frank and I shared with our parents, make time slip away. The shared experiences make wonderful memories and conversation neither of us can have with anyone else in the world.
My brother looks like Dad and I resemble Mom, so Sam and Mary live on in the appearances of their two children. Our gestures are reminiscent of our parents as well, as our spouses can attest. Still, in the above picture, my father's eyes stare back at me and my blond-haired, blue-eyed brother with the fair complexion, looks like the Irish O'Briens of my mother's family.
Remember when...is a big part of any conversation. The days of our youth are the good old days which we can laugh about now. Stories abound as memories flood back, one triggering another. Between us, we can generate the details of events and circumstances, as we finish each other's sentences.
Where are they now? Childhood friends and classmates have children and grandchildren so there is catching-up to do. Stories of school events, teachers, sports, music lessons, Sunday dinners, and church are all shared memories.
Because of our age at this stage in our lives, conversation always comes around to who has died. We are at the stage when the older generation is almost gone and our generation is beginning to disappear. Questions center around the person's age and cause of death.
Favourite conversations revolve around our parents, those two people who shaped our lives and helped make us who we are today.
However, the words and phrases used by our parents and grandparents are part of our vocabulary today as well. Nan's pronouncements about life, Dad's assessment of world affairs, and Mom's spiritual wisdom and vernacular are all part of the family history, memories and traditions. The hard work of our grandfathers is not forgotten either. Those two men did a great job supporting their families in difficult times. Today, laughter accompanies quiet moments of remembrance.
Meanwhile, my daughter, Claire, gave birth to our grandson, Owen, this past week while my brother and sister-in-law, Michele, were visiting.
Owen joins Sylvie and Caitlin as the fourth generation from our parents, another little one to teach about his mother's ancestors and Newfoundland heritage. My brother and I look forward to sharing the memories of our side of the family with him.
What's it like when you get together with your siblings?