Sometimes when things come together, it’s luck – like my husband needing to go to Texas for work at the same time I needed to go to Texas for a family gathering. He didn’t have to use any vacation days and I didn’t have to drive myself!
But most of the time when things come together it’s because a bunch of people worked their asses off to get it done.
My grandfather’s 80th birthday was last week and my entire family worked closely together to plan a fantastic celebration. From compiling a guest list and sending out invitations and request for letters detailing memories from my grandfather’s past to buying, prepping and cooking enough food for a gaggle of people to providing technical support – we all pitched in.
And what a success! Even with the snags along the way (food warmers that didn’t work, obnoxious building personnel) the party was a happy, sentimental affair.
Folks from all over the country sent in letters for my grandfather telling him about their favorite memory of him. His high school class was very helpful with this. They’re such a close bunch and that makes me happy.
We had guests attend from near and far, and we were so grateful for them all for making the trip.
There had been talk of getting a recliner for my grandfather to sit in to receive guests, but I don’t think his rear end touched even a plastic chair once that day. He went from table to table, from crowd to crowd visiting with his well-wishers and it made my heart grow about 10 times to see the smile on his face the entire day. (And of course I cried when I presented him with the stack of letters. I’ll blame it on pregnancy hormones.)
And although the joy of seeing all these smiling faces was pretty much just indescribable, my favorite part of the afternoon was when everyone was getting ready to leave and several of us stayed back to clean.
Without even being asked, my cousins jumped in to clear tables, put away food and mop the floor. My husband threw knives to pop balloons that had gotten stuck up too high for us to retrieve them. (This was quite the spectacle to behold.) In less than an hour, we had the venue back to its original form. We laughed and cut up along the way, and I was just so in love with my family right then.
Sometimes I worry about my generation of our family – that we’ll lose touch as the older generations pass on. But after Saturday I don’t see that happening. We work together so well and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. I love these guys and look forward to the day when we can get together much more often.
15 thoughts on “Pop the Patriarch turns 80”
Yay! I’m so glad it went well!!
I would’ve cried to, and I’m not pregnant.
I went and hid in the kitchen. All those people and me with an ugly cry face. Sigh. But it was such a great day. I hugged a lot. You’d be so proud.
What a great reason to celebrate! Glad you had fun on your trip. By the way your little man is adorable!
Next year we’re hoping to throw a romance-themed 60th Anniversary Gala for them. 🙂 SO EXCITED. (And thanks! I think so too.)
Sounds like an awesome trip! And it sounds like you’ve got a pretty wonderful family. I love get togethers like that. The last time we did that was 5 years ago and it was amazing.
There was so much work that went into it, and it went by really fast. But we are so lucky to get to do it!
Looks like you put on a wonderful celebration for him. It’s always worth the effort to travel and make the time extra special for family.
I’m grateful to have a family that appreciates things like that. 🙂
Wha a wonderful weekend. Your generation rocked it with the serving and cleaning. My generation ran out of gas and your generation just stepped in and seamlessly picked up where we left off and carried it to the finish line, having fun along the way. Sooo very glad you and your hubby and Monkey were there.
It was wild, but so sweet! I don’t see how you had the energy to face a Monday! I’m still tired and it’s Tuesday. 🙂
Looks like such a fun time! It reminds me of my grandfather’s 75th birthday long ago. Family time is the best. And Monkey is just so cute.
Thanks, Katie. 🙂 It was a special day, for sure.
What a fantastic way to celebrate a man that obviously means so much to many people. Looks like a blast! I love the one of Monkey with the broom.
He has always had a thing for brooms! So weird. 🙂
Oh that’s so awesome. Even just reading about the fact that he got letters made ME all choked up and I have no hormones to blame.