She’s recovering from surgery after breaking a hip but you can’t keep a good woman down–she was going to be ninety and by golly we were going to have a celebration. I think she told the doctor he had to okay it and well, hey, how could he not, then?
So celebrate we did. Ninety and a day. It was quite the party. Old friends came from Oregon for it, her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren came in from everywhere all over. The grandkids blew up balloons one by one to create this dragon that stretched far around overhead while the little greats gleefully popped as many as they could get their hands on. Hey, guys! (as one of the young parents told me afterwards.) Not all of them!
Balloons and tape (and a little hanging wire) can become this?! Creativity is a magical thing.
One of the grandchildren told me, I know your daughter! She was in grad school in Ann Arbor when we were!
And in the slide show there was a photo of Jean and her husband with Conway and Elaine that got me right there. It took me by surprise how fiercely I missed those three, mixed with my gratitude that we still have Jean.
I asked one of her sons if he remembered them and he said why yes of course. I told him their granddaughter had grown up and gone off to college and met and married my son and they had three children now.
That just made his day. Small world.
Jean grew up in Hawaii and misses the fresh-picked mangoes of her youth; she’s an avid gardener and has tried several times to grow them here but always lost the trees to the cold. She’s content now to cheer me on and I love that it matters to her how mine does.
I just figure she can’t go anywhere till I’ve finally had a chance to offer her one.
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