Living the Stories of Future Memories

It's when sitting outside on the porch, on a cool Pennsylvania evening, with your parents and grandparents, listening to their stories, that you realize you're in the middle of making your own. I've never had the privilege of living in the same state as my extended family, not since I was three. And as I've gotten older I've come to realize how valuable those few short days are when I do get to spend time with them. I'm getting older, and my family is getting older. I recently learned what it's like to lose someone you love dearly. It was my first big loss, but won't be my last. And it has made me appreciate the ones I love so much more.

My sister, Karly (along with my Nana and Papap), decided to surprise my parents by flying herself to Pennsylvania for my cousin's wedding, without telling them. This would have been our first trip up here without her, and it was killing my parents. She's the first of their three girls to get married and this would have been our first big trip without her. Of course she couldn't stand not telling someone, so she told me. And together we kept this secret for months.

Today was the big day. All day today, from the the moment I woke up, we were texting back and forth, notifying each other of our locations, giddy about the surprise we knew was coming for our parents. And what a surprise it was! We got to my grandparents house and had a few minutes before she came out of hiding from the bathroom to completely surprise the crap out of them. They both cried. It was amazing and sweet and heartbreaking. Because their baby girl, not only made it to this big family get together, but she and their other daughter went through the trouble of months of lying and fibbing in order to give them one of the best surprises of their lives. It may not sound like it, but it was a big deal.

After hours of eating and drinking and laughing with my parents, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, some of the family went home and Karly fell asleep in the room that she and I always share when we visit my grandparent's house and I went outside to sit with my mom, dad, and his parents. At some point my mom brought up a time when she and my Nana and Papap surprised my dad with a visit from them while they were in Las Vegas. They laughed about how hard it was to keep it a secret and how surprised he had been.

It was in that moment that I realized that we had all just created a memory that 20 years from now I would still be talking about with my parents, and God willing my husband and children. What an incredible realization. I am in the middle of a future memory that I will cherish. So why not cherish it now?

As my sister sleeps feet away from me, almost snoring, I'm reminded of how lucky I am to be sharing these stories with her and the rest of my family. I'm trying to enjoy the stories as they unravel.

School and graduation pictures of all the grandkids on my Nana and Papap's piano. Forgive the horrible quality. It's dark in here, and I didn't want to turn a light on and wake Karly up. ;)


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