Poppa turned 90 in October. (Mom’s 91st birthday was in November.) Poppa was dealing with some challenges and so the celebration was low-key. The fact that we had had quite the party for their 70th anniversary in August led Poppa to the decision to go low-key for the birthday.
But, 3 of us 5 kids were able to be there (surprise health issues kept the other 2 from joining us) and spouses and several grandchildren gathered for dinner and fun. The youngest there was Jake, a great-grandson not yet 3 years old at the time.
Jeffrey, my younger brother, brought Poppa into the dining room where we were to have the birthday lunch. It was then that the pictures being “beamed” on a side wall were noticed. Poppa immediately recognized the pictures of his classmates from junior college and the family homestead from so long ago. The rest of the family got their lunches and joined the table.
The pictures involved most of Poppa’s 90 years with a good mixture of then and now. It was as we all sat down that we heard Jake say, “Hey, that’s me,” pointing at a picture on the wall. It wasn’t Jake for quite awhile. But, every kid in a picture got the same response from Jake, “That’s me.” It was hilarious and we all loved it. For a bit, his parents tried to explain that the photos were usually of someone else; their fruitless efforts made us laugh all the more. Jake was having a great time: he was in every photo, we were having fun, and birthday cake with thick frosting was on the menu. What could be better?
I loved my folks’ reactions, they were laughing and saying, “Sure it is.” His parents, realizing that the sugar high from the cake would only add to Jake’s excitement announced that after lunch they were going to park to do some running around. Jake liked that idea too!
I love when a family gathers and enjoys the innocence of a child or of a silly story of Christmas past or watch for “the hundredth” time that favorite Christmas movie. Relish the “gathering together” that Christmas can bring.
Jill (just one of God’s kids)