Kate’s birthday was this past Saturday, but the big celebration was the previous weekend when our two children and all five of our grandchildren were here. This was an occasion when the stars were in perfect alignment. That’s saying a lot. They were traveling from three different states.
Our daughter, her husband, and both boys arrived in three cars. Our son and his family all traveled together, but they were flying. With all the issues surrounding air travel lately, you couldn’t help wondering if they might encounter a few problems. Fortunately, they didn’t.
The visit was a good one for all of us. This was the first time since June 2020 that all of us had been together. Only our children had been to our new home. Now, our grandchildren also have a good picture of what our lives are like.
The highlight was a birthday dinner on Saturday. We were in a private dining room off the main dining room. Everyone ordered from the menu. That turned out well since all were able to find something suited to their personal tastes. One of our son’s boys said, “That’s the best meal I’ve ever had.” He had the chicken sandwich.
After ordering our meal, I invited everyone to share special memories with Kate. There were twelve of us, and everyone including our caregiver spoke. Each person had unique memories. It was a very touching time. I don’t think there was a dry eye among the group when we finished. I know that sounds sad, but it was a great moment of connection with family and our love for Kate.
After dinner, our daughter and son gave Kate a gift of cookies, each of which was topped with icing and something of special significance for her. I took a video of our son, Kevin, who sat beside Kate and explained what was on each cookie. The last one was an image of the “Clasped Hands” of Elizabeth and Robert Browning. Kate’s mother had often given copies of the original to friends who were newlyweds. We have one on a table in our living room.
I can’t predict how Kate will respond to situations like this, but all of us were amazed that she rose to the occasion. She listened attentively and responded appropriately to everything Kevin said. When he was almost finished, she even said, “Thank you.” Then after Kevin said, “We love you, Mom,” she smiled and said, “I like you.” Fortunately, I took a video that captured that moment.
I am happy to say that she has continued to display similar moments. They don’t occur every day nor do they last all day. I treasure them and feel grateful.