Well, I finally made it. I turned 70 years old last month. I had some definite plans because, for me, this was a milestone and I’d never really done anything “crazy” before in my life.
At the stroke of midnight on the big day, my good friend and neighbor, Charlotte, and I decided we would streak down the hill in the subdivision. Our only problem was figuring out how to outrun the cops back up the hill with our walkers. Quite a predicament, wouldn’t you say?
As it turns out, Charlotte got pneumonia and was in the hospital for almost three weeks. I still think she did it on purpose just to get out of streaking.
The second thing I wanted was a stripper. I knew my son was cooking my birthday dinner and I specifically requested one. Both Tommy and the grandkids adamantly refused and I was about to call one myself before deciding against it. One should really not anger one’s family. You know what they say: They’re the ones who pick out your nursing home.
As it turns out, I got something better than both the above items. Tommy and Monique threw me a surprise party. I never really thought I could be surprised, but they did a bang-up job of keeping the secret along with all my friends who were there. They even sent out invitations weeks in advance. I know I talked to almost everybody at the party at one time or another during the weeks beforehand, and I can’t believe nobody slipped up.
Tommy and my grandson, Jay, came to pick me up for what was supposed to be my barbeque chicken dinner. Since I’m still a little shaky from all the back surgeries, they both had to help me up the stairs to Tommy’s front door. When they opened the door, everybody started yelling and I started falling to the floor. Later, Tommy said he thought, “Oh, my God! I’ve given mom a heart attack!”
The last party I had was when I turned 50. It was also supposed to be a surprise, but my husband brought me home from dinner too early and the group wasn’t prepared. There were a couple of people outside when we drove up and, as they scampered inside, my husband threatened me by saying I’d better lie and act surprised. I did. It didn’t work, and all he got was grief for bringing me home too early.
This party was great! The dining room table was filled was catered food. A table in the living room was filled with presents and the biggest caramel cake I’ve ever seen. Having your friends and family with you to celebrate such a milestone is a wonderful thing. Knowing that your kids went to so much trouble to show they care is more than wonderful. I don’t think there are words to express how much I appreciate what they did. After the first shock, I started to feel warm and fuzzy inside.
One of the highlights of the party was a card from the grandkids, Jay and Sarah, saying they would never put me in a nursing home. At least, now I’ve got it in writing!
To Tommy, Jay, Sarah and Monique, I love you guys so much, not only for the party, but for the everyday stuff you do to make me feel loved.
(Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.)