Margaret and I talked a little more about it and decided to try again. Sadly Peter and Sheri would not be able to make it but despite that fact, the stars aligned for us. We found an evening that worked for both Margaret and me and we were able to book dad too - it was the night before his actual birthday and we told him to meet us at Margaret’s so we could walk to her favorite Thai restaurant to celebrate his birthday. I called several of his dearest friends and miraculously they were all able to come. Margaret decorated her house and yard beautifully (sadly we had to bring our gorgeous garden party inside due to a downpour that evening but it still looked lovely) and I put together a menu I was proud to feed dad’s friends. It took some elbow grease but I think we put together a respectable party.
Although it was actually kind of a lot of work, just imagining what my dad’s face would look like as he walked through the door and saw all of his friends was enough to motivate me to get it all done. Dad is getting into the very hardest part of caring for my mother and I just knew that an evening with his friends would bring him more joy and energy and cup-filling than any wrapped gift we could offer would.
Oh I was so right about that. I’m so grateful Sheri planted the seed and got the ball rolling. It was indeed an absolute pleasure to see my dad’s face as he came through the door, a few tears even welling as he looked around at the intimate group of loved ones. Dad and mom have wonderful friends and I love them dearly.
What was so fun for me was that after we finally got everyone into the kitchen to get some dinner, the guests filled their plates and the entire group of them smushed themselves around the smaller of Margaret’s two tables and sat, shoulder to shoulder, happily eating and reminiscing for a couple of hours. Margaret and I just sat back and enjoyed the sight. We cleared plates, we refilled water glasses, and we just watched them happily. Why had we ever tried to think of a present to give him ever? All he wants is the people he loves and who love him. It was a really wonderful sight and a wonderful evening.
Happy birthday to my dear dad.