This weekend my husband and I are helping our oldest daughter, Mackenzie, move to a new apartment in the city. She’s been living on her own for a year, but I still marvel at how grown up she is at twenty two. Talee is driving up to college this weekend to move furniture into her new house (but will be back home for another month before classes begin). She’ll be starting her third year at the university.
My little girls are now adults, and getting more independent every day. Sometimes this causes me anxiety, unable to grasp how and why life goes by so fast — sometimes at turbulent speeds. I can’t stop it and I can’t catch up.
I’ve been reflecting on some special memories. Moments in my life when I clearly remember thinking, I will never, ever forget this, and I wish I could bottle this memory up and relive it again and again.
The most amazing, peaceful, spiritual moment happened when Mackenzie was seven years old and Talee was five. We were vacationing in Hawaii, on the beautiful island of Maui.
The resort where we stayed had hula lessons every evening, after sunset. One night we were dressed up to go out to dinner. We went downstairs and walked near the hotel lobby. The warm, tropical breeze felt like velvet on my skin. The night air smelled like rain. It was heavenly to breathe it in.
Just past the lobby was a Hawaiian band; a trio, with one man strumming a ukulele, another man singing, and a hula dancer. Her grass skirt swished as she softly swung her hips from side to side. Her arms and hands flowed gracefully, like a ballerina’s.
We sat down to watch. There was no one else around. We were being entertained at a private show. Just the four of us. My lovely family.
Mackenzie and Talee were a bit shy, but wanted to learn how to hula. They timidly walked up to the pretty dancer with long, thick, black hair. She smiled and waved them closer.
It was fun to watch our daughters, as they made their first attempt at performing the hula. They moved their arms and little girl hips, trying to imitate the experienced dancer. The sky was black, and a pelting rain fell in the background of the makeshift stage. I snuggled close to my husband and a warmth came over me that’s hard to describe.
Complete serenity. Safety. Love. Total relaxation. No worries. No anxiety.
The four of us, together, at that time, at that place. It brought tears to my eyes because I knew I’d never have that exact moment ever again. I cherished it and wrapped it up around my heart.
I’ve had other “moments” since then. Like when my mom and I went out to breakfast a few years ago. She was waiting for me, sitting at the table for two. The morning sun filtered through the window, softly shining on my mom. She looked vibrant, and so pretty in her sweater and scarf. I will never forget the smile on her face when she saw me.
Another special family moment happened about ten years ago. My husband and I were hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Our large family was sitting down at our long dining room table.
Everyone was talking, laughing, and passing the delicious food. I looked around at each person. We’re all here. One day that will change. But right now, we’re all here. I took that moment in and soaked it up like a sponge.
I wish I could turn back the clock and relive those beautiful moments. That’s impossible. So I hold onto the fact that they’re stored away, deep inside my soul.
And I’m at peace with the knowledge that many more “moments” are waiting to happen.