While we were all up in New England, we celebrated Maggie's 90th birthday. My aunt and mother invited 40 people, and 40 people showed up! We had told her she was coming to lunch with family. She was quite surprised! You can see how bright the room we were in was, and with her bad eye she had difficulty seeing when she first came in. When she walked in, there was a table of women with whom she has traveled the world (Greece, Russia, Austria, etc.) and she walked by them like she had never seen them before in her life. (Of course, she wasn't expecting them.) My other grandmother (O.G.) had just arrived, and was saying hello but Maggie couldn't see her. My O.G. introduced herself by her maiden name, like that would help! But the worst indignity was suffered by my sister. She came up to say hello, and my grandmother asked, "Who's that? Jody?" My cousin's friend Jody looks great for her age, but she is almost 20 years older than my sister! Maggie finally made the rounds of all the tables and knew everyone once her eye had adjusted to the light. She's mostly still got it.
We had a wonderful lunch at the Copper Door in Bedford, NH. You can see the fabulous decorations my aunt's friend used. The theme was lime green and pink. The flowers were beautiful including chrysanthemums anastasia and dianthus barbatus "Green Trick." Very unusual. There was pink and lime tulle and glittery pink ornaments--one of my grandmother's personal style mottoes is "sparkle plenty!"--including the pink glitter shoe you can see near the perfect cake my cousin made. We also had lottery ticket holders for everyone--Maggie loves lottery tickets! They were lime green with a pink ribbon and the message, "Happy Birthday, Maggie/ March 13, 1922/ You're one in a million." (Though I think the biggest prize won was $2.) The invitation had requested Maggie stories rather than presents, but few people had prepared themselves. My mother got up and told "sounds good since you had it fixed" and then bullied several people into telling stories. The family genealogist told everyone there were 39 cousins at one time, and 13 survive. Many of them were at the party.
My sister and I scanned hundreds of family photos and made a PowerPoint presentation that ran in a continuous loop throughout the party. Unfortunately because the glare, I'm not sure my grandmother saw much of it. Fortunately, my sister had the foresight to make a beautiful book of the photos with Shutterfly.
My grandmother's speech (bottom photo) was mostly about what a lucky person she was. I'm pretty sure that outlook is what has helped her last this long!
Unfortunately my youngest cousin was unable to attend. She is in the hospital gravely ill. She has an infection in her spine and "vegetation" in her heart. Between the pain and the medications, she's delirious. I know my aunt, who visits here regularly, would appreciate your prayers and good thoughts. Many thanks.