Sunday, September 05, 2010

Birthday Greetings

Robert Burns is quoted as saying, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry".  This was the case when it came to planning my Godmother's (Elaine McCurdy) 90th birthday party scheduled for August 29th.

My brother and his wife, Auntie Elaine's nephew and his wife, and I had planned a wonderful dinner at the golf course for 18 of Auntie Elaine's dearest friends and family.  Unfortunately, Auntie Elaine had not been well for several weeks and landed in hospital in the middle of August.

Over the summer, I had invited close to 100 friends and family to participate in making a Voice Quilt for Auntie Elaine's gift.  It's a great concept where people call in to a birthday hotline, and leave their birthday greetings. Once the messages were finished, I downloaded them over the internet where they were put in a keepsake box so Auntie Elaine could listen to them over and over.  We had calls from all over the world -- some friends  told stories that brought laughter and tears, others recited special poems, while others sang various renditions of Happy Birthday!  It is an amazing and unique way to include loved ones in a special celebration-- especially with so many people separated by miles.

Never let it be said we aren't adaptable, because although the dinner was cancelled and a tea held instead at the hospital, the "organizing committee" decided to hold a "Happy Hour" on the unit and comandeered a meeting room.  Under the premise I would beg forgiveness rather than ask permission, I brought in a backpack full of gin and tonics, wine and beer along with an array of appetizers. 
Left to right:  My brother Russ, me, Auntie Elaine, her nephew Bob, and his wife, Pat.
Left to right:  Russ, his wife Margaret, Auntie Elaine, Bob and Pat
So, we took lemons and made lemonade.  In the end, we accomplished what we set out to do -- to celebrate Auntie Elaine's 90th birthday, and to show her how much she is loved.  Mission accomplished.

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