The Circle of Life


The Circle of Life 

Often subtle changes take place within the circle of life.  They go unnoticed, we may not think of them or miss them altogether.  This past week my father together with other family members shared my home where the circle of life became very apparent.  There was laughter, reminiscing, various family gatherings and the notice of….Change.

My father tires a bit more easily than he used to do.  His movement was a bit slower and he slept longer hours.  Occasionally he took short rests on the sofa.  Still, his wit was as sharp as ever and he had the stamina to tap dance with his three-year old great-grand-daughter.  Silly Great-Grandpa!

My oldest brother’s beard had turned gray with salt and pepper colors throughout.   His dark hair, once thick and shiny had become thin, revealing a bald spot near the back of his head.   An Army veteran, he seemed more sentimental.  Before going home, he looked me straight into the eyes.  “I don’t tell you enough,” he said, hugging me tight, “but I really love you a lot.”

My middle sister seemed much more content in life.  Calmer, if you will.  Together, we enjoyed playing with toddlers in the grass while trading babies in our laps.  Feeding and rocking them, we burped bundles over shoulders before trading them back again.

One day, we shopped in a quaint historic town on the banks of the Missouri River. It’s where Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition that went all the way to the pacific coast.  Laughing like school girls, we ran down a cobblestone sidewalk to the same boutique two or three times over again while my husband and brother-in-law re-connected at a patio restaurant nearby.

This reunion of sorts was mainly for my father to meet his new great grand-children and to reconnect with much of his family.  Due to everyone’s schedule, it’s extremely rare for all of us to be together at the same time.  About a week ago everyone met for fabulous brunch before coming back to the house.

“Dad, do you want to hold one of the twins?”

“Uh, well, it’s been a long time,” he said, hesitating.

“Oh, you can do it,” I said, placing Baby Olivia in his arms.

Almost instantly she wailed as it was near feeding time.  Grabbing her bottle, I handed it to my father who instinctively popped it into a hopeful mouth.  Her cries stopped immediately to the relief of my father.

After snapping the candid picture below, I thought to myself of the deeper, amazing moment that had just taken place.  Someday, long after my father is gone, long after I am gone and perhaps even my children are gone, Olivia, an old woman by then may see this photograph.

With her own great-grandchildren by her side, she will point to the picture.

“Yes, that is my great-grandfather holding me for the very first time!”

The Circle of Life

 dad &olvia

54 thoughts on “The Circle of Life

  1. How beautiful. I was a “late in life” baby so I knew my grandmother but she was already an old lady by then. It’s wonderful for children to know so many elders in their lives. xx

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    • Livonne, bless you for reading and leaving such a loving comment. I wish my grandchildren had ‘more’ time with my father, but this picture fills much of the void.

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  2. I have always been in awe of anyone growing up in an extended family, getting to know them at family celebrations as I didn’t have any. Wonderful to reading about your recent family gathering and everyone catching up on news, stories and meeting the new arrivals. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  3. Some memorable moments and pics, Kim; may I state your situation makes me pleasantly jealous of those rare moments, of the joie-de-vivre when few generations get together, because I am yet to be part of a milieu of great grand sires and great grand children. You are indeed privileged. God bless… Raj.

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    • Oh, Raj, thank you for the warmth of your comment which tugs at the strings of my heart. You have shared beautiful pictures of your blessed family-so much to be thankful for. One day….who knows? A gift to be treasured, never to be taken for granted. Prayers and blessings to one so special. ❤️

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  4. Oh what a brilliant post Kim. It’s so nice that your brother was able to say such a fantastic thing to you before leaving. And the picture of your father is so moving holding his great granddaughter for the first time.. I would love to have enjoyed such a relationship with my sister and my father but I’m lucky to have such a great relationship with my daughter and grandson as well as assorted nephews and nieces, great nephews and nieces and even a great great nephew.
    You’re a beautiful lady Kim as well as a beautiful person and I feel privileged to know you.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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    • David, such a sweet person you are with the kindest soul. I know from your posts how much your daughter means to you and the way that precious grandson of yours melts your heart. Yes, so very, very blessed to have them in your life!!! I thank God each and every day for ‘family.’ We’ve had so many ups & downs and come so far. As we grow older, ‘little’ things tend to not seem so very important any more. We all learn to appreciate life’s simple moments. Gifts….Thank you for your beautiful words, David, as I dab tears away. Truly…I am the ‘privileged’ one, as ‘you’ are one in a million. Love in my heart for you always, David.

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    • Dear Sally, your complimentary words from the heart spill over into mine. I am honored by one so accomplished who will always feel like a ‘mentor’ to me. I admire you in every way. Love to you. 💗

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  5. Kim, another great, moreover touching, post. You know how I feel about about you and your writing, so allow me to say thank you for sharing.
    I also came from a huge extended family of siblings however I never knew any of my grandparents, (nor my father). They all passed before I was born, and sadly, I always felt cheated. I also tried forThe best way to hopefully find the owner is to share the post. If enough people share this, the relatives may see it. Also, is there any records on who rented the storage bin?several years to find all of my grandparents through ancestry sites, with no success.
    That is why, like you, I try very hard to make memories for my own grandchildren.
    You are such an incredible blessing to this world.

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    • Such an enormous heart you have, Pat! I write this with watering eyes for the little girl within you who will forever yearn for family members she never knew. At the same time, my nose crinkles with smiles thinking of your lucky children and grandchildren. What a gift they have been given! Ever since I ‘met’ you, I have felt the rare bond of family closeness. Thank you for the words you write, as well as your sweet, generous self. With love always, Kim

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  6. The laughter in the face of your father was so wonderful while he was holding the baby, Becky. This made me want to get up and tap dance with him and spend some time with him. I will keep him in my prayers. He is a precious and special man, I can tell this from his countenance.

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    • I apologize, I had just been on another post, with a Becky. Of course, Kim it is your father I am praying for and his face all lit up with smiles was a wonderful vision. Please if you don’t mind, edit out the Becky. Just a little tired but this was one of my last posts to read at the library and heading home to eat dinner. Smiles!

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    • Thank you, Robin! So blessed to have this time with him and the rest of my family. Thank you for reading, commenting and especially your prayers. Blessings, Robin.

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  7. Hi KIm,
    I had a similar experience last weekend at my cousin’s wedding where it seems like all the seats have shuffled forward. My grandparents and Great Aunt and UNcle have passed on. My parents are now in the front section. We’re middle aged and my cousins, who were the kids, now have children of their own. It felt rather strange to be honest. Hope you are keeping well xx Rowena

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    • Time moving all to fast, Roweena. Thanks for being here. I just paid you a visit as I’ve missed so much of my ‘reading’ time during the last couple of months. You are a terrific writer! 🙂

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      • Thanks, Kim. I’ve really appreciated youre encouragement…and that of other bloggers. I’m off to the Sydney Writers’ Festival next week. One day, I’ll be a featured author. I have certainly put in the hard yards but need to get the structure happening and also have a bit more faith I can do it. Writing 33,770 words for the A-Z challenge has certainly helped and seeing how I did that. I figure if I write headings, that will give me that daily goal. Any thoughts?

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      • Roweena, you have accomplished so much and are a terrific writer! How exciting to look forward to such a prestigious writing festival!! ‘Structure’ simply takes practice…but you ARE doing all of that and more. I need to read your A-Z challenge. I had every intent on doing so, but then got sidetracked. Don’t count me out just yet. I’ll get there. You are well on your way, Friend. Your name in ‘Author’s Lights,’ soon enough. So proud you should be. 😊

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  8. Kim, that picture is precious and you’re right that it will become even more so with time. One of my teen sons has kept a teddy bear that his grandfather gave him years ago, because it was one of the last times he saw him before he died. I have a picture of my dad giving it to my son.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Wendy, my ‘nose’ again…trying to keep the sentimental tears at bay. Such a touching story you’ve shared. So visual you are with your words that I can ‘see’ the picture too! How lovely it is….❤️

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      • I am having a devil of a time posting a comment to your good post here so once again but this time as a reply:

        Your last thoughts were very touching. Indeed, photographs are a link to ancestors. But to your topic of CHANGE… My family was fortunate that my grandmother, born in the 1880’s then immigrated to Seattle around 1910, had a Japanese neighbor who snapped quite a few pictures then printed them in his hotel room across the hall. Over a hundred years later – in 2012 – my Hiroshima cousins and I gazed upon the photo album that had recently been uncovered in their storage shed. It even survived the atomic bombing.

        But the point here to your topic of change is this: many, many people are now snapping photos with their cell phones much less a digital point and shoot. But where are those images? Printed images today are becoming rarer. If you don’t print out that photo and put it into an album like my grandmother did for safe keeping, what would happen if the storage medium fails or becomes outdated (like BetaMax or 16mm movie film, for example)? Indeed, sometimes change may bring about unexpected endings.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Your last thoughts were very touching. Indeed, photographs are a link to ancestors. But to your topic of CHANGE… My family was fortunate that my grandmother, born in the 1880’s then immigrated to Seattle around 1910, had a Japanese neighbor who snapped quite a few pictures then printed them in his hotel room across the hall. Over a hundred years later – in 2012 – my Hiroshima cousins and I gazed upon the photo album that had recently been uncovered in their storage shed. It even survived the atomic bombing.

    But the point here to your topic of change is this: many, many people are now snapping photos with their cell phones much less a digital point and shoot. But where are those images? Printed images today are becoming rarer. If you don’t print out that photo and put it into an album like my grandmother did for safe keeping, what would happen if the storage medium fails or becomes outdated (like BetaMax or 16mm movie film, for example)? Indeed, sometimes change may bring about unexpected endings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, a lump in my throat reading this from you. An extremely emotional visual to ‘picture’ your ancestors gazing upon their cherished photo album, a survivor in itself. Priceless memories….I am printing all of my photos this coming week, all the special ones in my heart to start putting in albumfor all ‘ancestors’ who come after me. Thank you more than words can say. I might not have done it if not for you. Bless you, truly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aw, thanks but I apologize for the duplicated comment. This Android tablet app is so troublesome and finicky. By the way, just as a precaution, my digital photos are uploaded automatically to flickr.com at full rez.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Great tip and I’m ‘borrowing’ it from you! Such light switches you’ve turned on for me to last centuries from now, long after I’m gone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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