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.
The mayor showed up and announced that the day would be marked in her honor!
There was unending amounts of cake.
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.
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.
Of course, the family from near and far was great to hang out with, too.
Most importantly, Babu came home happy and safe.