Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

Today’s Carpe Diem party was a lot of fun!  Photos are in the photo gallery.  The weather cooperated nicely, and it was great to see some friends and family we don’t get to see enough.  If you couldn’t make it this year, don’t fret!  We intend to make this an annual Saturday of Memorial Day weekend event.  So pencil it in for May 29, 2010.  Michael and Lisa will bring wedding pictures 🙂

I was thinking about our title for the party…Carpe Diem.  Seize the day.  My mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago on Memorial Day weekend.  One year later, we celebrated with our first Carpe Diem party.  Mom had beaten many, many odds and had had a successful surgery at Mayo Clinic.  She was feeling well, and that party offered a great opportunity to celebrate and to thank some of the many people who had come to our family’s aid after her diagnosis.  I liked the name Carpe Diem.  It’s a bit of a family motto.

One of the things I really admire about my mom is that after her diagnosis, she told me that she never had a wave of regret of not having spent time on the important things in life.  She didn’t find herself suddenly wishing she had savored life’s sweetness…because she tried hard to soak it in every day.

Mom was often pointing out to me a beautiful moon (she liked calling me when I was in a different state because we could both look at a pretty moon together).  She adored the crisp green that weeping willows turn in the spring, the smell of cornfields after a sunny August day, the feel of milkweed silk, the startling brightness of the world after an ice storm.

At Mom’s funeral, Terry read a passage from one of her favorite plays (Our Town).  That captures some of the yearning my mom had to appreciate the moment.  I found our favorite segment from Dead Poet’s Society where Robin Williams encourages his students to “gather ye rosebuds while ye may.”  I’ve copied it below.

I hope this Memorial Day weekend you find ways to sieze the day, to hold tight to this life that we hold so dear, and to make your lives (even a little) extraordinary.