The Big Day

The big day, Babu’s 100th birthday party, was a grand success!

Before I spill the details of the wonderful time we had, I need to go back a little ways. I feel the need to share how difficult and terrifying all of this was.

It’s been building for at least the last six months, this hope that she would not only make it, but be healthy enough to enjoy it. That hope turned to fear and dread and it became worse and worse as the months then days wore on.

Then the family got here.  Every other time, they have had the expected positive, uplifting affect on her. This year, at first any, it was different.  Babu kept asking if the funeral arrangements were made.  It was sad and a little upsetting.  I told her everything was taken care of but she didn’t drop it.

The first family member to come got the barrage of questions from Babu and then she transferred those questions to me.

No.  I don’t know who the pallbearers will be, and I quickly found out I am not prepared to talk about it.

I went about, for a short time, continuing to simply soothe and be patient with Babu.  “Everything is all set.  We’ve made arraignments.  You don’t need to worry.”

She kept saying we needed to go to the church and tell the priest that she was coming.

Then she said “They can’t put me in the ground if I’m alive!”

Then it all came shocking down on me.

I was remembering her saying last year:

“The next time they come to see me it might be for my funeral.”

After my initial groan, I jumped to rectifying a terrible misunderstanding.

Babu was believing that everyone was here for her funeral.  Not her birthday

She thought she was dying.

And I was reinforcing that idea.

Wow, that sucked.  But she got through it in about a day and a half.  We kept reinforcing that everyone was here to see her and to celebrate her birthday.

She was in a wonderful mood and feeling well by the day her party rolled around.  I was a mess that day and I thank the heavens that the family took care of getting Babu ready and to the party.

Jake, her husband, died on his birthday.  He was much younger but I got a little worried about symmetry.  Yes, Jake died much younger, but I just worried.  I’m pretty sure that worries are irrational when it comes to people you love for everyone.

But enough of that talk!  I got to the party a little worse for wear but I got the pleasure of seeing it all unfurl from a short distance.  We were packed to the rafters.  We spilled over beyond the room we rented.  Family of Babu’s showed up and I knew very few people myself.  I may not know who some of the people were but I got to see how happy it all made Babu.

The meal at the German restaurant, and accordion player polkaed around us.  A family member close to Babu’s age sat with her and she lit up.  He was also an according player, and even though he was over 90, he played a song or two on the accordion himself.

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The mayor showed up and announced that the day would be marked in her honor!

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There was unending amounts of cake.

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And so much joy:


The nieces ran around adorable as all get out somehow not overwhelmed by the sheer number of people crowded into one room.

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A few of our friends showed up to celebrate the day and we had a ball.  It meant everything to have them there.  To know that they understood how important she is to us.

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I got to hang out with this little guy!

Of course, the family from near and far was great to hang out with, too.

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Most importantly, Babu came home happy and safe.



22 Comments Add yours

  1. lifelessons says:

    What a beautiful and refined-looking lady. Did she have a good time? Amazing that she got the celebration confused with her funeral. What a story, both with words and photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She had a great time! And thank you. She is always so on point.


  2. Stunning!!!!!!!!! ❤ Happy Birthday Babu ❤ YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. uma197 says:

    Happy birthday to her. I can just imagine your anguish. Beautifully written

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Anguish mixed with so much love.


      1. uma197 says:

        Anguish usually stems from a lot of love

        Liked by 1 person

  4. barbwit says:

    So lovely to see all the photos, and I’m so glad you finally convinced her it was for her birthday. I hope you can laugh about the misunderstanding; it really would make a great short story, though so stressful for you. Babu looked like she was enjoying everyone, especially the young ones, so cute; I remember my mother (with Alzheimers) who delighted in babies.
    Hope you get a rest and recover; You are such a wonderful carer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. You are wonderfully kind.


  5. Oh Good for Babu! She looks very happy and engaged with everyone. So nice to see. My father died on my Mother’s 75th birthday also. But he had been quite sick for a long time and she said it was something of a gift to see him released. Life is full of joy and anguish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Powerful thought and right on! <3. Thank you!


  6. Filed words says:

    Wonderful photos. What a lady!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. And, yes, she really is! 🙂


  7. This is just beautiful.
    It resonates with me, we have just had a living wake for my Mum who has terminal cancer. Was amazing but emotional. I think I shall write about it. Hopefully it will turn out as lovely as this.
    Pictures are wonderful too!
    What lovely memories.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh wow. What a beautiful and difficult thing. I am sorry for what your family is going through and I wish you all the best.


      1. Thank you. It was lovely.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. lifelessons says:

    Even the second time reading this, I am in tears. She is actually your husband’s grandmother, isn’t she? So touching how close you have become and you bring across so clearly all the lives and adventures that lie concealed in our older relatives–their wildness, beauty and hijinks. Is she pleased that you are transcribing her memories? What does she have to say about it? The best part of it all is the time you get to spend together in doing so. How you have enriched each others lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Val says:

    She’s a lovely woman and I’m so happy she had a good birthday celebration. Tell me – does she have some sort of dementia/Altzheimers or is she just forgetful, etc, because of her age?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. She is wonderful! She does have breaks with reality and has “episodes” where she “loops” if any of that makes sense.


    2. Thank you. She is wonderful! She does have breaks with reality and has “episodes” where she “loops” if any of that makes sense. Most days, however, things are normal.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It was such a joy to come to this post and learn that Babu made it to her 100th Birthday! I’m almost caught up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes she did! In style. 🙂


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