When I started, all four of my grandparents were still living. When I started, I was unmarried, still dating.
When I started, there was no daughter, no son.
When I started, my dad was still alive.
While the word patriarch should never be used for someone with my vitality and charm, it would seem that I have suddenly been rocketed into the role. Outside of my mother, who just turned 78, I am the oldest. There are only three generations in our family. My children only knew one of their great grandparents (My son doesn't remember her at all.); otherwise, they only know them through stories that I can tell them.
I still remember everything with fondness, but it has all changed so drastically in just three decades.