Last weekend I hosted a special eighty-fifth birthday celebration for my mom at her memory care house. My husband and a few friends helped me pull out all the stops. We placed decorations and balloons everywhere, then donned our party hats and waited for our dog friends to arrive.

Mom’s face glowed beneath her birthday tiara as she devoured the melting Reese’s Peanut Butter ice cream cake. On Sunday, she was the Queen of Port Margate, which was better than any present I could have given her. What a joy it was to see her so happy and honored.

Have you had the joy of planning or hosting a special celebration? Maybe you were on the receiving end of a loved one’s efforts to honor you. Recall the event and what happened.

          • What was the occasion?
          • What was your involvement—party host or the one celebrated?
          • When and where was the celebration?
          • Who else was there?
          • How did you feel during and after the event?
          • Describe a scene with some of the essential elements, such as the setting, characters, dialogue, vivid language, and action.

Share your response in the comments section below.

1 Comment

  • by
    Phyllis Sommerman
    Posted October 20, 2019 12:52 pm 0Likes

    How wonderful to see you so happy with your Mom. Good job girl!
    As it happened, I was having a party of my own the day you prompted us to write on this subject. I share my story …

    Party for Two
    It’s only 3:43 in the afternoon, but we know it’s five o’clock somewhere, so I grabbed some cold beer from the frig and met Larry on Deerfield Way. Adirondack chairs are begging our company. In the Northeast, as October wanes, we prepare for the first snowfall just weeks away. Our tractors and muscles hummed all day. The vegetable gardens have their new dose of compost well worked in; only strawberry plants, garlic from Italy, and asparagus remain, already showing impatience for a rebirth next spring. New butterfly gardens with colorful and tasty nectar plants are now along the tree line in full sun. We nearly exhausted our supply of milkweed this year, feeding over three hundred Monarch caterpillars into life as a butterfly. We did a little research and ordered the best of the seeds for next year’s Monarch dynasty. Tired and frostbitten peonies, mums, hibiscus, and hollyhocks got ’a shave and a hair cut,’ and we found wanting spaces for the new bulbs that came in the mail last week. Trailer loads of fallen leaves have been sucked up from the lawn as Larry mowed. Those chopped leaves make a helpful under-cover of mulch for winter’s blanket of snow. So with all that done, and next year’s compost pile upturned, we brought in another load of firewood for those cozy evenings by the fire.
    While ‘Old Mister Sun’ powered heat directly down on our working bodies all day, he now casts a more sideways glance, and the temperature falls from a crusty and healthy fifty-five degrees to a temperature that calls for a vest over our flannel shirts. We could have worked longer, as there are always more chores. But chores will be there for tomorrow. It is time to rest.
    Like a virtual hug, I watched as Larry positioned our chairs closer together; our party for two has begun. Red, orange, and yellow Maple leaves dance slowly toward the ground. They flutter to and fro; they are in no hurry to be crushed by footprints or swept into a machine. One lands on my lap, giving me a close-up reminder of God’s presence right where we are. Deerfield Way is nature’s entrance to the open fields and woodlands lying beyond the tree line surrounding our homestead. It is both our field and that of wildlife. No moose today, but as we sit there in comfortable and peaceful silence, our faithful guests arrive to share the quiet moment with us. A doe and her fawn from this year’s birthing pause, our eyes connect, and we give reverence to this common ground and day’s gentle adieu.
    There have been and will be, other parties. My eight-year-old grandson Colin creates a party in his bedroom as he reads to me his favorite books. It reminds me of the video we received of four-year-old Quincy and Wyatt as their playschool friends surrounded the table and sang Happy Birthday. Indescribable joy beamed from their sweet faces; it was a party I hope they long remember. Last weekend we partied with ninety-year-old Uncle Lloyd. Recovering from cancer, he set that party as his goal three years ago, when doctors suggested he may not live that long. In our family, a celebration of life becomes a party. Cousin Jimmy once wrote home while in the Navy that he hoped to have a family someday. He died this year, and what a party we had. One hundred and two of his offspring were there, spanning four generations. Before the party ended, plans were set for the next party, a Smith family reunion to beat all those past, on the farm in the Sugar Loaf mountains of Maryland. Uncle Henry built that home and created a party setting in the woods just for parties such as this.
    Just a few months from now, a party of ten will gather in The Villages to celebrate a 60-year friendship – bonded not only by college memories but by sharing life’s tragedies and mountain top moments. Shortly after that, intense planning begins for my sixtieth high school reunion, a party of one hundred or more classmates, now closer than we were in high school.
    But for today, this party of two, for two, is with the man who has taught me about living and loving in the moment. The ‘party’ is in the companionship of each other, in the presence of God’s creation of wildlife and nature’s beauty. It is the story God has written for our lives today. The beer bottle is empty, but our hearts are full.

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