July 30th, 2009 at 2:08 pm (Articles)
This past Mother’s Day weekend was also my mother’s 75th birthday. For the past year, I have been asking her what she would like to do for her big day. The only answer I would get each time was “I just want all my kids home at one time”.
For some families this might not be so hard, but for ours it never seems to work. I am one of five daughters and there is always one that can not make it or we will all be there, but the grandkids can not. Work, health, and life in general always get’s in the way.
Well I sent out an email to all the sisters and their families telling them Mom’s wish. We emailed back and forth. Plans were made and changed, and changed again. To all our amazement, we finally came up with a plan. We started with a small party and ended up with a bit larger one, 90 to 100 people.
When you get out family together, it is never a small affair. There are five daughters, 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren (with two on the way). All in all, there are almost 40 in our immediate family. So, by the time you add a few close friends and the extended family you really have a party!
The party was great. I am so pleased. But mostly I am thrilled because Mom was so happy with everything. It was great to see her eyes light up every time someone new showed up at the door.
My right hand in planning the party was my sister Tracy. She did such a great job doing the decorations. She used the old pictures we have of my Mom through the course of her life, placed them in frames and used them as table decorations (Everyone just loved looking at the cute kid pics). Next she took info about Mom and her life and made a poster of events and happenings from the time she was born until now. It was so cool. Mom was so moved she cried. I love happy tears.
We took the opportunity to take a picture of the 30 something family members that were there. Everyone is looking forward to getting a copy. We also took generation pictures and family groupings. This was a great opportunity to catch up on the photos that people forget to take and share.
One of Mom’s favorite gifts was a packet of scanned old photos from her cousin in Idaho. We all loved looking at them. This cousin had copied old photos of grandparents, great-grandparents, and all the family in-between. It was great that she took the time to identify as many as possible. We had no idea these photos existed. What a surprise. What a great gift idea!
I guess my point in sharing all this is not just telling you what a great time we all had, but to remind others that opportunities like this do not happen everyday. If you want to have the memories and the pictures and the home movies, and all the love in one room, take the time and get all your loved ones together. Time passes much to fast. We forget, we get busy and then the next thing you know, those people are gone. After all, this is why we do genealogy, to share with our families.
One of my favorite all-time lines is “Take Time for Family”, and thank goodness we did.
(A special XOXOXOXOXO to all my family)