It’s been years since the phrase “precious moments” came to mind. Until recently, I associated “precious moments” with the figurines that became virtually ubiquitous when I was in high school. To my teen sensibilities, they weren’t sweet. They were saccharine.
Now that I’ve crossed the half-century mark, I’ve learned to appreciate the subtleties, not to mention the value, of sweetness. In fact, sometimes it’s a whole lot more elusive than drama and excitement. There’s a whole spectrum of things that are sweet before we cross over to anything close to smarmy.
And, it’s not just the figurines that are collectible.
When I stumble into precious moments, I’m awed. Sometimes I try, usually in vain, to capture them on film while remaining in the moment. Others I try to drink in and engrave on my memory, hoping that my memory lasts. To increase the odds of that happening, I religiously do my daily Sudoku puzzle.
Saturday, at my husband’s aunt’s 90th birthday celebration, one could immerse themselves in preciousness. I try to hold onto the little vignettes. The warm fuzzies they created in my gut will soon be replaced by the acids produced by today’s stress Du-jour. Operating on the theory that I remember things better when I write them down, I feel inclined to share a few of the heartwarming moments I drank in.
Stories of Uncle Tom emerged. How had I never heard about Uncle Tom’s unique way of celebrating his 4th of July birthday each summer? Surely I would have remembered tales of a man lighting his chest hair on fire on an annual basis.
Gloria, the birthday girl, showed off her new outfit with a 360 degree twirl. Unhappy with the department store’s petite selection, she purchased her outfit in juniors. At 90, not before—mind you—she gave herself permission to dress as she pleased.
Across the room I watched my college junior son enjoy “chilling” with 80- and 90-year-olds.
The group picture captured some awkward facial expressions, because multiple people were humming show tunes to make each other laugh. In honor of Aunt Vivian, who died 18 months ago, all alcoholic beverages were put aside before we posed. Of course, there they are in the foreground. Guess we should have chosen a different table.
The Slagal sisters teased each other. One even claimed the other was born “before there were doctors.” Both threw their heads back in laughter.
As the party ended, guests didn’t go home. They just helped clean up. Who would have known my husband’s cousin “runs and mean vacuum”?
And last, but absolutely not least, Aunt Gloria, completely comfortable in the limelight bringing out her ukulele to perform show tunes. Her sister, my mother-in-law, not at all comfortable in the limelight, sang along. Yep, I got the video. Ain’t they sweet?
Now I just have to remember how to bring these memories to mind and fortify myself during far less precious moments.