I was so excited when I found out I would be able to attend NASPA this year. Yes, in part to being able to attend the best conference of the year, but more importantly, because it would allow me to be home the weekend before my Papa’s ninetieth birthday.
I have never known my Papa when he was healthy. Just prior to my birth he had a stroke while getting open-heart surgery (there is a story to this, I am just fuzzy on the details – but it involves the doctors screwing up). I never believed I would be able to have 26 years with my grandfather (ok – 26 years in less than a week). So for us to be celebrating his 90th birthday as a family was VERY special. Mimi and Mom planned a beautiful dinner in the Dublin Retirement Village private room. Everything looked beautiful and the dinner was wonderful. There were 11 of us for dinner (Mimi, Papa, Mom, Dad, Sarah, Josh, Annie, Tess, Loretta, Mike and Augie), a perfect number for a family celebration (I guess however large your family is will determine the perfect number).
Papa was very happy and seemed to love every minute of the celebration. We each told stories of our favorite Papa memories and he kept saying “you are being too kind by not telling the bad stories.” I am not sure what stories he is referring to, but my stories were simple moments with Papa that meant something to me. Following dinner we ate Mimi’s homemade angel food cake with green icing – Papa’s favorite.
I know I have said this in several posts, but I really am lucky.