“You have to celebrate everything, because there’s enough tragedy,” says 82-year-old Joan, one of the grandmothers featured in our May 2014 issue cover story.
The unconditional love and overwhelming joy that blossomed at our first baby girl’s birth was something I could never imagine. The definition of love dramatically changed at that pivotal moment when I first held angelic Arielle.
This new life launched our family and a new generation of kindred cousins. It is no wonder that each return home to our big, loud, extended clan in Chicago propelled a miraculous boost in Ari’s development.
This month, Ari, now 28, weds Adam, a miraculous young man who fills her heart and softens her sweet, sassy style. Individually, they are stellar humans. Like any perfect union, they’re better together.
We could have said “yes to the dress” in Seattle, where my husband and I relocated 30 years ago and where Ari and Adam will wed. But today, with a magnetic pull back to family, we’re about to land in Chicago for Ari’s final wedding dress fitting. The sad absence of grandmothers is one reason we are traveling 1,700 miles to have Ari’s adoring great-aunties participate in this joyous segment of the marital journey.
I’ve romanticized (to my husband’s dread) a situation where our extended family is in close quarters, like the families featured in “Better together.” The families in the story represent an updated version of yesteryear, where several generations coexist under one roof, sharing the challenges and delights of raising a family.
On this Mother’s Day, and especially at Adam and Ari’s wedding, we will yearn even more acutely for the loving smiles and warm embraces of Grandma Blanche and Bubbie Shu (z”l, of blessed memory).
Happy Mother’s Day.