Valentine's Day is over! It was wonderful this year but I have milked it for all I can get and, sadly, tomorrow the decorations will all come down. But, on the happy side, St. Pat's will now go up and I love the "wearing of the green" for my house even more!
I shared with you that my daughter had a dream come true for her 40th birthday-she got to swim with the dolphins. Look at that smile. She was in heaven and I am so happy for her!
That all happened on the weekend of her real birthday. This weekend, my other two daughters, sister-in-law and I celebrated her birthday with a girls' weekend and 40 gifts for 40 years. Each gift was meant to spur a cherished memory of Becky for the giver. We all approached it in our own ways which made for an afternoon of much talking and remembering- and a little wine drinking too! It was wonderful to have all of our memories jogged as someone recalled something from the past that we may have forgotten. Many of us included pictures as we reminisced about "big hair", certain name brand fashions, vacations, etc. My youngest daughter compiled a CD with the top song of the week every year on Becky's birthday and remembered how we couldn't wait to get home from church and breakfast every Sunday as we listened to Casey Kasem's Countdown. As the "mom", it was fun to see the things the girls remembered the most fondly-and, as we all come to know as we get older, it is most often the little things that mean the most when we think back! Becky was reminded of so many things: poignant, embarrassing, funny, loving, etc. I think she was a bit overwhelmed. It is always humbling to find out just how much we really mean to those who love us in this crazy world we live in...and always so nice to be reminded of this!
Some of the aftermath about half way through.
My sister-in-law came up with a Jeopardy game using facts from Becky's life. It was hysterical to hear some of our questions to her answers. My girls always spent a week in Gainesville with my brother and sister-in-law every summer so many "secrets" got revealed-like the apple toss game and ducks being invited into the apartment...all under my brother's supervision while my sister-in-law was at work. And, oh yes, the time they went up a mountain way too large to really climb and saw "puppies" on the trail on the way down-only to find out that said puppies were really bear cubs! And the time they went white water rafting. And the time they had to evacuate Cape Cod just minutes ahead of a hurricane. And....well, you get the idea. No wonder they always loved going with Uncle Joel and Aunt Cyndi! So many life experiences that they never would have had if they hung with boring old Mom and Dad!
Becky got many, many thoughtful, loving gifts but the winner had to be the life quilt made by my sister-in-law. She still needs to put it together but we were speechless as to the meanings of every block in this quilt. She truly captured every highlight of Becky's life in fabric-right down to the cheerleading competitions at Sea World. Now where in the world did she find these fabrics! What a true labor of love!
So now, Becky is officially 40 and we move on to the next birthday-Harrison turns 7 next week. Spring hits our family pretty hard with birthdays, but we love it. Sometimes we party hard and other times we keep it simple but each and every one of us always knows that we belong to a very special family. We are always there for each other and we always know how much we are loved!
Tomorrow I bring out the green! Stay tuned.