It’s October, so it’s time for my annual Grandma birthday post. For the past 11 birthdays, my Grandma has been in Indiana, and we have celebrated together just about every year. Last year, we had the party of the century with the extended family. This year, we returned to the scene of last year’s post-party breakfast, for a special birthday dinner. The events manager remembered last year’s blowout, and made the dinner extra special for us. From the personalized menus to the private area in the restaurant, the evening was one to be remembered.
I was a little selfish that night- I took the available seat right next to the birthday girl. She was very happy to have the family gathered, and is her custom, made fast friends with the server. She told everyone to take care of themselves, not to smoke, and not to overeat- then we could all live to 101 too. “And see how much fun I’m having?” she asked with a smile.
She had been celebrating all day, starting with lunch at her assisted living center at 11am. She mentioned they had a lot of good laughs over lunch- the biggest one coming when her 75 yr old friend came to visit and celebrate. Some unsuspecting guest asked if he was her husband. She laughed and replied, “HUSBAND? I’m old enough to be his mother!!!” Think about that for minute. She’s totally old enough, and proud of it.
I’ve noticed for several years that the older she gets, the stories she tells get older. At the party, she randomly shared a memory that seemingly popped into her head as she watched my youngest niece yawn. She told me a short tale about a 25th anniversary party her family was invited to attend. She was fairly certain she was about 5 or 6 yrs old. Without a car, her family (at that time, her family of 5), traveled by street car. She remembered the party took place after dark, and the family trekked across town for it. She got tired at the party, took off her shoes, and climbed into an available bed (that self-care took root in her early, I guess). Later that night, her dad carried her younger sister as she and her older brother schlepped to the street car, and then walked three blocks home. It was a sweet picture that I’ve filed away with other stories I’ve heard over the years.
So this was 101. Meg is excited, because next year she can sing,” Happy birthday to you, you’re 102…”