Mom’s 83rd Birthday Bash!

Today we had a birthday bash for my mom’s big day. Actually we just had a simple lunch with some of mom’s favorite foods and a get-together for the family members that were able to make it.

My niece, Heather surprised us by coming and bringing her daughter, Faith. They live in Kansas now, but she surprised her mom with a holiday visit and showed up at our place too. She’s the one with the big earrings sitting next to her big brother, Russell . You’ll also notice that the two of them are in the cousins picture in the post below. How fun!

My niece, Lisa and her boyfriend, Davis (in hat) were also there. Lisa’s sucking her finger in the post below. I’m sure she loves that I’m pointing that out.

We decided that since my mom’s getting up in years, we wanted to try to record some of her stories while she can still remember and communicate them. Right now she’s doing great and you’d never know she’s in her 80’s, but it’s one of those things that could change any day. She even mentioned that every year she feels like she’s slowing down a little more.
Anyway, we enjoyed our lunch, then had mom open gifts. Pretty simple stuff…some clothes, lotions, jelly bellies (her favorite treat), and her very FIRST cell phone. My oldest sister, Diane got it for her so she could have it when she walks to the store, etc. in case of emergencies. Yes, she still walks a few blocks to the store once in a while, which is probably some of what helps to keep her in good shape. I gave her a gift certificate for a weekend away. She’s always loved to travel and doesn’t like to go alone. Last year mom, me and my two sisters did our very first trip together to visit her sister in New Mexico, so maybe we’ll do it again this year. I told her it had to be within driving distance of Phoenix, which still offers a lot of options.

After gifts, we turned on our video camera and started asking her questions about anything and everything…I even found out a few things that I didn’t know, like when my mom and dad were separated for a year, my mom was in her 40’s and dating a guy that was 27 for a few months! I never knew that until today. Obviously it didn’t last because my parents got back together just before their divorce was to be final. My dad said he just couldn’t go through with it and drove 2000 miles from Ohio to Phoenix to reconcile with my mom. Yay Dad! That was when we all moved out to Arizona…it was part of the deal. I wasn’t thrilled with it at the time, but I’m thankful for it now.

We also heard about the kinds of houses mom lived in growing up during the depression and special stories or characteristics she remembered about each of her kids. We asked questions and let her talk for 2 hours of taping and we probably could have gone on if we had more tape. She was getting tired and was ready for a break though. Maybe we’ll do more on Mother’s day… I think she was really honored that we wanted to take the time to hear about her life and that several of her grandkids were there, interested and listening to everything she had to say.

After we were done, the “cousins” played a game of Apples to Apples. Davis wasn’t so sure that he’d like it, but he ended up winning, so I guess he thought it was o.k.

It was a very special day for all of us. Now I need to find a way to convert the little video tape to a DVD and make copies for everyone and maybe do a little editing. I’d also like to transcribe it so that we have it in writing somewhere. Maybe that’s something that Amy can do now that she’s semi-retired!

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