Well, the party’s over! And that’s a mouthful! Yesterday we threw Mom a surprise 65th birthday BBQ (pig pickin’), in the making since February. 75 or so people attended. They all brought food, gifts and they kept the secret oh so very, very well! But what was the very best part? Well, the two very best parts actually. First…the look on Mom’s face, the surprise. It was worth every bit of planning, sweat (literally), frustration that went into the process. She was truly blindsided and had no clue. She didn’t get one surprise (the party), but two when my brother-in-law showed up fresh from getting home from the Middle East after two months. I thought the second “surprise” might actually put her out of commission, but she held up.
Obviously lots of people love my Mommy. I quickly reverted to my childhood when I hugged her upon getting out of the car, calling her Mommy as I wished her Happy Birthday. She’s been here 65 years, been through a lot, and deserved every moment of love and well wishes bestowed upon her that evening. I hope she enjoyed having her whole family together, even if it was for a few short hours.
The second best part of the evening? My family. I continue to be amazed at how time heals all wounds and people can get past anything if they let God work his way in and around us. It’s not to say that we forget all the “bad stuff,” but we can get past it and move on and love each other. We really can. For those of you reading this who are part of my family, I don’t have to go through all the details and rehash anything. We all know the past. But you know what? It is the past. We recognize it and we live in the now.
That’s how brothers and sisters of an “ex” sister-in-law work hard to show her they still love her and she’s a huge part of their lives. That’s how cousins who don’t see each other often still love each other, remember the “good ‘ole days,” and open their homes to each other with love and affection. That’s unconditional love. Tried, tested and true. Family through thick and thin. I know they are always there whenever I need them, whether it be staying up all night getting ready for the big event or praying for me when I’m going through surgery or simply sending me a card at Christmas with love.
If those others of you reading this don’t have a family like that, perhaps you will have the good fortune to marry into one. My husband did. He has a lovely family; but they aren’t mine. They aren’t tried, tested and true. I think they are, but I don’t “know” that for a fact. I can’t tell you how many hugs I got last night. It was great and I’ll remember the evening for a long time to come. I hope everyone there had as much fun as I did for I am truly blessed.