Yesterday I headed to my mom's house and then went to the anniversary party and dance for a relative. It was an incredible experience.
Being at the dance brought back so many childhood memories and brought me so many adult insights. We met at the same dance hall that so many family reunions, parties, dances and wedding celebrations were held in the past. It had the same excitement as I remember from "back then". The difference for me this time is that I appreciated every moment. I danced as often as I could....even when I didn't know the dance. I took as many kids on the floor with me as I could drag. Some I couldn't get off the floor and some never stepped foot. My son danced with me a few times and that melted my heart.
For the last few weeks I have been telling him about the fun I had growing up going to these Czech dances. I told him all about the wedding march, the polkas and my all time favorite "chicken dance". As silly as I know I probably looked I did that dance with complete joy.
I enjoyed visiting with everyone. There were so many people there that I only see at times like that. Everytime I walk away from those occassions I wonder why I wait for those occassions to visit with them because I enjoy them so much.
I also like the fact that I come from a heritage as rich as the Czech & Catholic traditions. What a gift it brings to be and know that gift.
And it brought back the memory of those who aren't there anymore. My brother mentioned to me that it wasn't the same not to look up and see uncle Johnny. I also thought about my aunt Frances and my granny. They would have loved to see all the fun everyone was having last night. And my dad. He and mom always enjoyed dancing together. When the band played "silver wings" I had to sit with my mom. My brother was already there. And my sister and I talked about it later. We know she must really miss him, especially at times like last night.
I am very sad that my mom is sick. I pray blessings and healing for her daily. But I also need to just sit in this moment. Because she was happy last night. She had her entire family together enjoying something that was very important to her. Each one of us went to that party last night joyfully. No one felt forced to go to "make an appearance" and we didn't want it to end.
I watched my mom last night and she was happy. That was worth it all.
And the kids.....they were exhausted. They fell sound asleep on a pallet we made for them on the living room floor...just like granny used to make for us. I want to enrich my son's life with the kinds of memories I have of my childhood and allow him to make them his own....chicken dance and all.
The circle of life.