Monday, March 26, 2012

Season of Birthdays

Seriously, I know the statics say that August is the hottest month of the year for birthdays (no pun intended), but in all of my days I have known more folks with March birthdays than any other. Maybe it's just my family...I dunno. But we've been birthday-ing it up like crazy around here, and this weekend we had two very special people to celebrate. :)

Both my Grandma Pat (my mom's mom) and my Great Uncle Charlie celebrated into their 70's this week, and we made sure to spend some time with both of these very special people in my life.

My uncle Charlie was more like a grandfather to me when I was growing up, and his wife, my aunt Brenda, was very much like a grandma. I may have spent more time at their house when I was little than I did at my own. Uncle Charlie was truly my first best friend. I adored him. He would push me for hours outside in the tree swing. We invented our own little game called "Charlie Chase" where he would chase me around the cars in the driveway, and I thought it was hilarious. Uncle Charlie would hide behind the car tires so that I couldn't see where he was by looking underneath...and then he would round the corner and send me into fits of giggles.

And he spoiled me, terribly. Anything I asked for - it was mine. Usually my request was to go to a local gas station for gum. I was a big fan of Bubblicious, and Uncle Charlie was a first class enabler. :)

We snapped a  phone picture of Charlie this weekend. :)

For the past few years Charlie has been slipping away with Alzheimer's, finally reaching the point that he had to be put in the care of a nursing home. On Saturday we were able to visit with Charlie for his birthday in a small private room with a few friends and family members. I'm not 100% certain that Charlie knows exactly who I am anymore, and I'm even more certain that he isn't sure who my children are. But I do know one thing: he still has a heart for kiddos. The girls kept trying to escape from our little party and run the halls, and Charlie's first concern was to try to go after them and make sure they were okay. :)

My Grandma Pat is also a very important figure in my life, and I owe more to her than I probably even know. As you all know, my faith is very important to me, and my grandma was the one who would pick me up for church on Sunday mornings and make sure I was going to Sunday School when I was a wee little thing. Through her example eventually my entire family started going to church, and well...the rest is history.

I don't have any pictures of Grandma on this computer...the closest thing I could find was my sister and me at my grandma's house, haha.

My grandma was best known for her loud cackling laugh which could be heard over everyone else's in the room. :) My childhood Christmas Eve memories revolve around running around her house, the smell of home made pizzas bubbling away in the oven, and hearing that laugh ring out in the kitchen while the cousins and I built bubble tents and played hide-and-seek. Sigh...I had a really good childhood, and her home was the backdrop for so many great memories.

On Sunday we were able to stop by her now-quiet house and visit with her and my grandpa. There aren't so many little feet constantly running around, but not much else has changed over the years. Going to grandma's is sort of like a time-warp. :) I was really happy to be able to sit and chat for a while...that is until Evie informed us that she "had to go home," which is her way of saying she has to use the potty, haha. She wanted to use her own potty seat, and by the look on her face I knew we had to book it out of there. Poor kid!

I have to admit that sometimes I get wrapped up in taking care of my own kids and my own life that I forget to make the time to appreciate those who invested so much into me. Family is super important, and weekends like these are great reminders to stop and make sure to let them know how much they are loved and appreciated.

Cousins! Alisa is the tall one, and I'm on the right. :)

Today I am remembering another relative who would be celebrating a birthday. Unfortunately, I have lost a lot of close family members over the years, and I had to deal with the idea of loss starting from a very young age. My cousin Alisa lost her battle with cancer when she was just 13 years old, and I was only eight. Cousins were my very best friends and my very favorite playmates when I was younger. We were all so close. If my calculations are correct, Alisa would be 32 today, which is crazy to think about! :) She was a kind and beautiful spirit who loved to dance and have fun. Her passing marked a distinct change in the family. Holidays and get togethers aren't the same when you feel like you're missing a very important person who always made them so much fun.

Sorry, didn't mean to shift gears on ya. :) Point is - lots of birthdays! And birthdays are happy days meant to be celebrated, so wahoo!

There is still at least one more birthday in my family this month - my dad's! I'm telling you, March is IT for birthdays. This week promises to be a great one, and next week,'s going to be even better. :) Hope you had a great weekend, and if you happen to have a March birthday join the club and Happy Birthday to you! :)

1 comment:

Heather said...

Happy Birthday to everyone!!


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