Over the past three days, I have attended two very different family events. Friday's one, a celebration of the life of my Aunt Janice, was very sad as Jan had left us very suddenly on Mother's Day. She suffered a stroke and passed away within a few hours. Her whole family were shocked and saddened, and they came from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to celebrate her life and mourn her passing. Jan was the beloved wife of my Dad's youngest brother and as one of the younger of that generation, it was quite difficult to comprehend that she had been the first to leave us. Many of my cousins and their children live interstate and it left me musing how unfortunate it was for us to be meeting for the first time for years in such a sad way.
In total contrast was a gathering of family from the "other side" today. We gathered to celebrate the 90th year of life of my Mother in Law, Nancy. Despite her expectations to the contrary, she made it to her Birthday party and thoroughly enjoyed seeing her children, grand children and great grand children getting together to make her day a very happy one. Whilst her living siblings live interstate and could not attend, two of their children were able to come along and there was much exclaiming over the two sets of twins in the great grandchildren, one set of girls who are now 11 months old, and a set of boys who are just five weeks old.
Such a contrast between the two gatherings and I was happy to have been instrumental in organising Nancy's party. How much better to get the family together to celebrate this happy event, than to have been getting together for a funeral.
It brings home very strongly that it is important to show our loved ones how much we love them whilst we can. We just never know what is around the next corner.