Brent and Pops had birthdays this week.
When I turned 16, Nanny Pan (Amanda) threw me a surprise party. A party with friends, classmates and family. A wonderful celebration of life. I don't remember a thing about presents to be honest. I don't even know if there were any. What I remember is warmth and love. I remember going shopping with my mom and the outfit we chose together (I thought I was going to dinner with my friends). I remember the look on Mom's (Mommom) face when I got ready. I remember my dad - cooking dinner especially for me - and I didn't think much of it (in terms of him not knowing I was planning on going to dinner with friends) because he never really knew if we had plans anyhow. I remember Amanda's face when I looked at her after everyone yelled, "SURPRISE!!" She was proud that she'd carried out the planned charade.
I remember love. I remember the celebration of me as a person and the realization that these people came together because I brought them there. (ok - we were 16. There was a distinct possibility they were there because they *heard* it was a party. Romantically realistic. yes.)
I remember standing in the "family" room of the hospital where my dad died. Numb and devastated at the same time. My breath would not return to my chest for years. I literally could not inhale completely. Mom stood and looked around. She said, "he brought me you." It was the first time of many she would verbally thank Dad for bringing our family together - for creating us with her - and proclaim that no matter what happened in the future, she would not hypothetically change nor regret her past - because it brought her us. Not a day goes by that I don't think of that moment.
Brent and Pops had a simple wish: time with family. People, we made it happen.
Pops wanted a family meal.
We gussied and went out for a wonderful Sunday lunch. Then came home for coffee and dessert...and a whole bunch of playtime!
Don't think I let this crew get out the door without some good old group shots!
It was happy. It was a celebration of Pops - and acknowledgement of the gift he is to us. It was, simply put, a good day.
Brent's birthday was later that week:
Mary Louise and David helped with the cake - red velvet! and gift wrapping (we had so much fun)
(that's 38 - ha)
and you know there are plenty of willing hands around here for unwrapping!
and candle extinguishing
Even Everett helps!
(no - David does not have pants on. No, I didn't notice at the time. Yes, I do have to check everyone for pants before leaving the house.)
Happy birthdays to Daddy and Pops. Thank you for the gift of time as a family. May we have many more years of celebration together.