Once upon a time, not so long ago...

My mom had recently been showing Ava old photos of my childhood. I picked up an album that had been left out and opened the cover to see what they had been looking at. 

As I turned the yellowed pages, I was captured by the beauty of my mother's youth, how carefree my aunt was, the happy smiles on the faces of my grandparents. I saw the love in my dad's eyes as he cradled an infant me, and the the gummy, wet grin of my toddler brother. I revisited my grandmother and grandfather in their old house, smelled the familiar comforting smell of their store, and remembered things about my uncle.

I was suddenly captured by a wistful urge to go back...not for my sake, but for the sake of my mother. To give her a chance to snuggle my chubby baby brother again, to let her walk the beach and gather shells with my tiny hand in hers. To let her find herself back in the apple orchard with my grandma and grandpa, to help my dad plan crazy birthday parties for me and my friends. To go, just once more, back into the kitchen with HER mother and laugh as they fixed dinner.

As quickly as that urge came, it went, and was replaced with the realization that I was living those moments right now. Holding a tiny hand, laughing in the kitchen with MY mother, watching my children run to Daddy for hugs, playing with them in the sand,  making an album of my own, my children's childhood memories.

How dare I push those moments aside in favor of selfish pursuits? 

You can never go back...only forward...and hope that you are using up every bit of time you are given making the best, most beautiful memories you can.

{my mother and I, on the beach at Cape May, on the east coast}