I was blissfully unaware that plans were unfolding yesterday. My daughter was vague about the fact that we would all meet again at her house, but she had errands to run so it would be early afternoon. When I arrived, my son Steve & his family were there and the rest were going to show up at anytime. I didn’t notice anything different, so I guess in exasperation my son pointed me to the dining table where I realized there was a birthday cake, in the form of my F-350 and Lance truck camper. There are three windows in back of this table with light shining in which affected the quality of the photos (plus the ineptness of the photographer) but you can see what it was like.
Pictures can’t do justice to the detail on this cake. Everything was there! The front license plate on the truck said “Gypsy”. My grandson noticed first thing that there were boot brushes on the running boards. The camper detail was incredible, and it’s a shame those details don’t show up on the pictures. Even the surface of the camper sides was meticulously detailed, although in the pics it looks like a flat surface. Of course there was no doubt whose birthday we were celebrating. Everyone handles me with kid gloves because they know I don’t like to celebrate my own birthday. I usually get depressed at the thought of adding another number to the already huge number of years, and this is a milestone year coming up so I even wrote to my siblings to say that I didn’t want to be reminded of it.
So the kids all arrived and we had a great time talking and laughing, when I noticed two people coming in the front door. It was my brother Steve and his wife, Nancy, from Suisun, CA. I told Mike, “Oh that’s so nice they’ve come to see you”, but he said, “Mom, they’ve come because it’s your birthday – they are here for you”. At that point something happened and I had a drastic attitude change. The hell with the number of years – it’s only a number – and I’m being honored and going to enjoy it and be happy about it!
My youngest sister, Amy arrived, then her daughter Stephanie. It wasn’t long after that when more folks walked in the door, my youngest brother, Rob, his wife Maria, and two of their four boys, Lucas and Max.
That’s Rob and Maria on the left in back of me and Amy, then Nancy and Steve.
Jeannie put together a slide show with pictures from when I was a baby, up through my growing years and into adulthood, Bill’s and my wedding, and all the way through to the present. In fact I think one of the last photos in the slideshow was taken just the day before. We loved looking at all those forgotten moments, and she let it run silently for the rest of the day. It was amazing how many of us went back to look at them from time to time, seeing something new each time.
Everyone brought something for dinner which was absolutely delicious, and then a bit later (at the urging of my grandson) we cut the cake. Son Steve had even ordered ice cream from Graeter’s in Cincinnati, undoubtedly the best ice cream in the world!
I had brought Lady along and she was out in their fenced back yard (so she could drink out of the pool if she got thirsty), and the two grandsons Joshua & Justin kept wanting to go pet her and give her treats. She loved it as well as they did. I also had to take the two boys out to the truck a time or two and let them pretend to drive.
I can’t think of a more beautiful and moving tribute, and I feel so honored by it all. And I won’t reach that awful number for another week!