Another week has past and that makes it 6 months.
Your birthday is next Wednesday. I remember for your 54th birthday we had a surprise party. Kassie flew up from Florida to surprise you too. Kassie, Kelsey, Kinsey and I got all of the food ready, made a video for you and sent out invites to your family and friends.
One of my jobs that night was to get you to the party at your parents. We had planned to go out to eat together as we often did. (Thanks for always making those bi-weekly lunch/dinner dates a priority. I cherish them now.) I had talked you into going to eat in Des Moines, but at the last minute you wanted to stay in Perry.
Now I'm thinking if we stay in Perry (our hometown), how am I going to get you to Woodward (that is half way between Perry and Des Moines. Me being the quick thinker I am, said Melinda (your sister) had very important news she needed to share with us. And you knew that meant we needed to go to Ankeny. You were so annoyed at me.
So I get you into the car. We're driving to 'Ankeny.' Right at the curve to your parents I say "I need to pick up some pants at grandma's." Again you were so annoyed, but I slowed down quickly and turned off the highway.
I get to grandma's and grandpa's and everyone's car is hidden in the back. (score! Still so unsuspecting.) I pull up super close to their door and ask you to go in with me. You say no. Absolutely no. Grrrrr....I was so frustrated, you had a surprise party waiting for you. I said I was scared to talk to grandma alone. You still didn't care. It was hot and you were tired and you didn't want to get out of the car.
I was moments away of telling you about the surprise but instead I yelled at you. 'Mom you have to go inside with me." You get mad and you start following me in. (I know I was a horrible daughter but believe me it shock me up a lot to yell at my stubborn mom and I knew the yelling was for a good cause. I knew you would love it once you got inside.)
You immediately saw all the people inside and walked straight into the bathroom. I could tell you were crying. Such shock of emotions. Extreme anger at me and then surprise and then joy and excitement. Then we put Kassie in front of the bathroom door. You opened the door, saw Kassie and went right back into the bathroom to cry some more. When you came out, you had the most beautiful smile on your face. That whole night you were glowing. So much joy.
You loved that night. Absolutely loved that night. You watched the video we made for you twenty times that night and twenty more times that week.
I remember you telling me while you were in the hospital that that party is your favorite memory of your life. Thanks mom for sharing that. Thanks for giving us the gift of being able to give you a memory that you cherished to the last of your days.
I love you and miss you,
At the party!
One of my favorite pictures of my mom and dad taken that night.
Check out the letter to mom series here.
Here's the thank you email my mom sent us after the party. (I love her color choice and over use of smiley faces...she loved them both dearly.)