The older I get, the less it seems I am able to count on ‘always’. Priorities shift with the winds of time, friends aren’t always available, that job isn’t the one I’ll always have , I don’t know where I will always live and people won’t always do as they promise.
‘Always’ has been replaced by her sister ‘frequently’, her cousin ‘often’ and that distant, twice removed great aunt ‘used to’….
Except when it isn’t.
On January 21st of every year, and now on July 10th as well, there is a tangible ‘always’ to remind me of the beauty of tradition, of consistency, of the yearning I have for some things to stay simply as they have *always* been.
39 and a half years ago, my dad brought a red rose to me in the hospital on the day I was born. I have received one just like it on my birthday every year. Always. It doesn’t matter where I am living, if I am traveling or simply gone for the day. That rose, that tradition, will always be there. It has been delivered to my work in the deserts of Yuma, Arizona, to my friend’s apartment in the Bronx and to every house I have ever called home.
Eight years ago, the tradition was passed on to my small girl with the delivery of a white rose to the hospital when she was born. Her eighth, perfect white bloom arrived yesterday, as it always does.
And as every small person’s should, my sweet girl’s beginnings will include the power of always. Family traditions have a hold on me, make me weak in the knees and grateful all at once.
What does your family do – always?