Surviving Celebrationitis

Surviving Celebrationitis

This is where I am: absolutely amazed by a rapid succession of special events with 3 octogenarians and 1 nonagenarian. And, believe it or not, have my home fully decorated for Christmas and even sent cards snail mail.

This is where I was: celebrating my father's birthday, my mother's birthday, and hosting a Thanksgiving luncheon for 14 in between. I certainly spent much time planning and praying and had great support from my husband and cousin. So, despite the demanding daily responsibilities with 3 teens, I managed to survive "celebrationitis" (my term for a vague fog and lethargy from continuous celebrating) with no regrets or grumbles. After 23 years of serving up both Thanksgiving and birthday traditions in late November, I must have learned a thing or two.

Now all that remains are great memories and photos of 3 joyful and memorable 2012 celebrations that encompassed 3 generations. My parents were honored in many ways and my sons were a part of that.

This 85th birthday for my mom is to be savored, recorded, and remembered. Her special day included a visit from her sister, brother-in-law, and niece who excitedly arrived with a big brown bag tied with a striped ribbon from the Lawrence Deans Bake Shop. Inside were very sweet custom gifts thoughtfully planned for both of my parents. My aunt tenderly handed my mom a pink heart-shaped cookie with the number 26 (her birthday) in lilac icing. Then she gave her a 2-inch-high white-iced cookie that looked exactly like a birthday cake complete with tiny candles and decorations. "It is too beautiful to eat," my mom gushed.  She even admired the tasteful (no pun intended) dotted logo sticker on the wrapping. My dad also received a custom cookie decorated like a green and gold Packer helmet. (He used to live in Wisconsin.)

As with most cheerful occasions, there were more sweet surprises. During lunch at the Red Apple Restaurant my mom received a red helium balloon, free meal, hot fudge sundae, and an exuberant "Happy Birthday" wish sung by the servers and most customers. That should have been enough, but more good things were to come once we arrived at my parents retirement home.

My cousin and I hung patterned paper snowflakes on their large window while my dad gobbled down his special cookie before it was time to say and hug goodbye. Later on at supper, my mom was crowned and given 3 colorful balloons, plus birthday wishes sung by all present in the dining room.

Hillary Clinton says it takes a village to raise a family. I say it takes a thoughtful family to create memories that will be treasured. Sometimes a village offers to help. Thanks to the staff at the Tamarack Retirement Home, the Red Apple Restaurant, and the Blanas family business for making my mom's celebration extra special this year.

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    Carole Pye

    I’m a freelance writer married to thrill-seeking husband, Jim, and mom to fantastic teenage sons: Austin, (18) Trevor, (16) and volunteer foster son, Chris (18). I am also a proud caregiver for my parents, Bob, a WWII Army Air Corps veteran, 87, and Jean, his wife, 85. In between the shuttling and the shuffling of senior boys and senior parents, you can find me sitting still, enjoying a cup of steaming hot tea while pondering the next thing to do.

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