My mom (Baba to her grandchildren) turned 80 last week and to celebrate this milestone, my brother, Ken, arranged a birthday party! We all showed up at his house on Sunday afternoon for a backyard barbeque — seventeen of us including me, my two brothers, our significant others, our children and one adorable toddler, Baba’s only great grandchild. This was the very first time that we were all together in many years. My mom was overjoyed, she was actually beaming and didn’t stop smiling the entire time.
The weather couldn’t have been better, blue skies — not a cloud in the sky, the sun warming the backyard. My brother, Ken and his wife, Dawne sure know how to throw a party. The picnic table on the deck was laden groaning with enough food to feed an army. Pulled pork sandwiches, deep-fried turkey, deep-fried perogies, and at least three salads were piled high on everyone’s plates. The champagne flowed.
There is something about family when everyone is together — it is kind of magical. The day was filled with laughter, nostalgia, hugs, tears and smiles from ear to ear. We ate, drank, told stories (new ones and old ones) and dabbed tears from our eyes throughout the afternoon and evening. It was a wonderful time, and I hope that we have another opportunity to get together again, soon.
It is at times like these, that I realize how important family is — how essential it is to maintain the strong ties that bind us to our family. As I reflect upon the gathering, I remember the feeling of joy, love and harmony that permeated the evening. In the words of my mother: “this is pure bliss…”
It was an amazing time and I’m looking forward to celebrating her 81st birthday with another fabulous family gathering.