The Girl Who Was May Queen turned 75 today.
We had a party.
Her friends came.
And it was awesome.
Julie made arrangements for dad to be home for the shindig. Which is no small feat. He was nervous, anxious, excited, unsure... So she met with him this morning, fed him lunch, got him dressed and groomed, then rode the Handi-dart with him:
He had a birthday kiss for the birthday girl:
So very thankful for these two men, Art and Johnny, who are comfortable and familiar with dad and his wheels.
Once we got dad settled, the visiting began.
Forty folks showed up, and pockets of conversation broke out all over the house.
Fifty mennonites singing Happy Birthday in deep rich harmony is a lovely thing.
So lovely it brought tears to the birthday girl's eyes...
Julie and de-briefed shortly after the last people left at 10 pm:
We talked on the phone (!) about the afternoon, the party, mom, dad, their friends, the food, the laughter, the love, the history.
These people are our past.
We are who we are because of the choices our parents made regarding friendships way back in the early '60's.
Every single person that showed up today was warm and friendly and said positive, life-giving words to us. How lucky are we? To have been loved by so many people?
And watching them be gentle and tender towards dad? Is just overwhelming.
It takes a village.
And my dad and mom are part of quality, caring, fun-loving, super-cool community of amazing friends. I can only hope to be half as awesome as they are when I reach my 70's.
And it got me wondering. Will my friends' kids have this same sense of 'older generation caring for them'? Will one of them have a 75th birthday party for their mom and have this same sense of peace about the adults in their past? Have I expressed to them my affection? Do they know that I've been praying for them? Do they consider me part of their village?
And what about MY kids? Do they have any inkling about how my friends feel about them? Do they know they are cared for by a whole whack of 'mom's' who've been praying for them for the past 10 years? Have I been able to create a history/foundation from which their have built their lives on?
When I'm 75, will they plan a party, invite my friends, and hav ... what am I talking about? THEY'RE BOYS. Hahaha. They don't give this stuff a second thought.
Thanks, Daryl and Julie, Mandi, Jim, John and Agatha, Val, Art and Anne, Hildegard, Dayle and Kelley, Pat and Doug, Jeff and Donna, Hank and Ellen, Jack and Marianne, Bert and Elsie, Lena, Rudy and Claire, Vic and Mary, Hank and Dora, Abe and Mary, Neil and Hettie, for making this day a special one. And thanks for being a significant part of my growing up years. I've been watching and learning, and y'all are the best set of mentors anyone could ask for.
ALSO, big sloppy thanks to MY friends, Heather and Maxine, who subbed in for me this afternoon. I'm still under the weather, and completely out of energy. With only a few hours notice, they were here, being my hands and feet, when mine just stopped moving. Love you guys, xo