Sunday we celebrated my father's 96th birthday and he was delighted to have 3 of his many grandchildren and one great-granddaughter there to help make the celebration very special. As we walked toward Allerton House Assisted Living, where he has happily lived for 1.5 years, there he was, on a picture-perfect Fall day, smiling and ready to welcome us all.
Daughter, Anne, Dad, son, Jason and daughter, Sara with her daughter, Samantha, gathered around the Common room table.
Yours truly presenting the cake and singing happy birthday....After cake we adjourned to the front porch in the beautiful sunshine to help Dad open his cards and gifts.....I am showing him the album and narrative of the sisters' reunion which I put together so he could share all the Seattle fun.
My beloved LM who helped in so many ways to make this day happen.
When the festivities were over, it was time to say good-bye to Anne as she would be headed back to FL. A very bittersweet moment, but I proudly watched her leave and gave thanks for the wonderful visit. Anne has gown into the most amazing woman, mother, wife and daughter.
It was also rare to have all three of my children with me at once...Jason came alone as his very pregnant wife, Alison was feeling low with a cold and bad cough. Sara and her husband, Richie were very busy shepherding their very sweet and outgoing Samantha and it was so nice to see what a great parenting job they are doing. They have had a lot of struggles and right now things seem happy for them. WHEW! Richie has a new job which he likes and they are about to move to a new place which will be better for them all.
There was an undercurrent of worry and stirred emotions at the party as Dad had spent the day before at the nearby ER in terrible pain from a bladder situation. A reminder of his fragility and just how fortunate we are to have him after 96 years. His spirit to rally and his gratitude at having his family around him just touches me to my core. Being around all that love is such a gift.