Birthday! - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

February 18, 2024

Birthday!

I’d meant to let the blog go silent for a few days to let us keep focused on departure preparation, but life just keeps happening.  Yesterday was a day worth remembering, as we drove up to Seattle to help celebrate my father’s 95th birthday.  A milestone of course, and perhaps the first one he was mentally in a place where he could celebrate in the past two years.  This time last year it was too soon after mom’s passing the prior summer at the age of 97, leaving him without the company of the love of his life for the first time in 75 years .

It was a celebration worthy of such an occasion, with nearly every member of our small extended family present.  Only Elizabeth’s eldest son Vance and his wife (who live in Connecticut) and Shawn (in Minnesota) were absent; and three cousins showed up, making this the largest family gathering in many years.

The last two years have been hard on dad, and he’s tending toward frailness himself now.  In the past year he’s moved into assisted living and he needs a walker to get around now.  His hearing is poor and his memory slipping, but he’s still game and socially active in his community, playing pool and starting to work his way back into the ukulele group he founded there.  And if you get him on the right topic there are still many memories and old stories that spill out.

A few photos from the occasion:

It’s wonderful to see such a large turnout. I could tell he felt honored.
Heart 8 Comment 0
To dad!
Heart 5 Comment 2
Karen PoretA ukulele toast would have been awesome…congratulations to your Father for being such an example of class at 95 years of age.
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonHe’s been an inspiration to us all, alright. The older I’ve gotten, the more I realize how lucky we were.
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3 months ago
In a celebratory mood, dad chases his oysters and a Rob Roy with a Heineken’s.
Heart 3 Comment 0
The three cousins. The two on the right are Becky and Carolyn, and on the left is Becky’s daughter Kerry. I haven’t seen them for nearly twenty years, I was surprised to realize. I told Becky and Carolyn that they look wonderful but that my mental picture of them is still from when I had a crush on them both 65 years ago.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Make a wish!
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As one of his gifts, my brother assembled an album of photographs he found in several boxes of dad’s photos he came across in helping him with his move.  Many of them are ones I’ve seen before but that still touched me and brought back memories; but three in particular were new and caught my interest.

A class portrait, with my mother the beaming girl in the lower right corner.
Heart 4 Comment 0
A softball team portrait. The man in the center of the back row (Joe Woodings) is my maternal grandfather.
Heart 2 Comment 0
And this shocker from 1970 really brought back memories. This is me with my first wife, on a visitors day when I was in basic training.
Heart 8 Comment 2
Ron SuchanekWow! Do you still have the uniform?
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekNo, but I’m sort of sorry I didn’t hang on to the hat - it would easily fit in a nook in the storage unit.
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3 weeks ago
Rate this entry's writing Heart 16
Comment on this entry Comment 3
Tricia GrahamWhat a really lovely occasion your father will really treasure it
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3 months ago
Suzanne GibsonWhat a wonderful celebration, certainly occasion for a new entry here. Congratulations to your dad!
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3 months ago
Ron SuchanekNice that so many people gathered for his birthday.
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3 weeks ago