25 May 2008

The Matriarch

When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.

~ Victor Hugo

Today my grandmother turns 80. It's hard for me to believe that fact. When my mom's parents hit that age, they were OLD. In fact, my mom's parents were always old to me.

Not so much for my dad's mom. She has always been young to me, and she has as much stamina now as I do.

Grandma was only 19 when my dad was born. She was only 42 when I was born and at the time, her youngest child was 8. She's just been young, if that makes sense.

Last night the family got together as a surprise for her birthday. My uncle brought her over to the American Legion where the rest of us were waiting, but she wasn't surprised. She said she knew something was up when she didn't get any cards in the mail. Smart lady, my grandmother.

The kids all gave her money for a trip - or whatever she wants to do with it. My grandma enjoys traveling, but hasn't been doing a lot of it lately. I hope she takes a trip that she'll really enjoy with this money.

In another post, I talked about the book I was putting it together for her. It turned out wonderfully, and while I got a few facts wrong (my cousins graduated from a different school than I'd listed), my grandmother truly loved it. She was crying into the first few pages, because I'd found pictures that she didn't remember ever having, and she kept saying how precious it was to her. I'm truly happy that she enjoyed it.

I made the cake for the celebration, and while it was a good cake, I wasn't entirely pleased with it. Grandma, however, loved it, and that's what matters isn't it?

We managed to take a family photo of us all also. We were missing two, and that seems to be standard any more. I don't remember the last time all of us were together. Hopefully we'll get the full family picture before much more time passes.

My grandmother has lived the kind of life I wish for myself. She loves her children, her grands and her greats. Better, she is loved by us all. She freely admits though life was hard when she and my grandfather started out, she'd do it all over again, and really, there's nothing more fulfilling that a person can say about their life, is there?

So to my grandma...Happy Birthday. You mean the world to us all.

Until later...