A few weeks ago, my great-grandmother turned 100 years old. Her children: my grandmother, her 2 sisters and their brother, threw a little party in Pennsylvania where she lives. We couldn't miss it and made the 7 hour drive north one sunny weekday afternoon.
The party was held at the assisted living home where she has her own independent apartment. The great thing about my great-grandmother (or as I tell my daughter, she is so great, she's your great-great grandma!) is that she has always been sharp as a tack and the sweetest person you could ever know. We haven't seen her in a few years but even with her enormous family (four children, 16 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren so far) she still recognized my daughter instantly and greeted her by name!
Of course, great-grandma was embarrassed by all the fuss. There was a huge cake for her, balloons, snacks and the best punch I've ever had - 7up and orange sherbet! Drinking it instantly brought back memories of the reunions and holidays we used to celebrate. Feasts at my great-aunt's farm, playing in the cribs, building hay tunnels, and long walks through the fields.
It was incredible to see all the family again. Wow - kind of like a time warp. We hadn't had a reunion in probably 10 years so it was wild to see everyone and meet all the kids of my cousins for the first time! It was a great turnout, probably about 70 people showed.
Despite all the "fuss" I think great-grandma really enjoyed seeing so many loved ones come to visit. I'm sure it was overwhelming, with all the cameras flashing and so much commotion, but she took it in stride and seemed quite delighted to talk.
Think of how amazing it is to turn 100 - great-grandma was born in 1907! To live through all the developments of the 20th century is hard to imagine - electricity, automobiles, radio, television, even indoor plumbing! But I suppose we just keep moving forward. In 50 years, people will find it astounding that we grew up without computers or video games.
So... HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREAT GRANDMA! We're so happy we made it to your party!
(too bad Dad couldn't make it, we would have had a five generation picture!)