Posted tagged ‘birthday parties’

Cake For Seniors

June 22, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                            June 22, 2016

                                         

They were ready to pounce. The ladies and man (as in solo!) at Dad’s birthday party were ready for the cake. If my dear Aunt Lizzie, who always stared at her wrapped Christmas present like it was a Rembrandt, had been there she would have said “It’s too pretty to cut into!” But Aunt Lizzie arrived in Glory a couple of decades ago so she wasn’t there to hold back the cake lovers.

Dad’s cake, with two eights rising out of it, was a tribute to his University of Kentucky roots. The white icing was outlined in Kentucky blue, which is much easier on the eyes than “Tarheel Blue!” He stood behind it and gave one forced puff to extinguish the small flames on the two eights. Blowing out two candles is not seen as being much of an accomplishment, unless you are surrounded by a crowd of seniors who are all crowding ninety!

There was applause for the disappearance of the candle flames, and Robin, the lady who my dad loves and trusts with a knife, commenced to cutting. I passed out the plates. No one passed on the cake. Tongues were licking the outside of lips even before the cake arrived in front of the partygoers. Seniors like cake. It is seen as a valid. almost mandatory, reason for disregarding their dietary restrictions.

Conversation eased a bit as the mature audience focused on their next bites. There’s a time to talk and there’s a time to be quiet. If white icing is involved hold on to that story that was in the midst of being told. We’ll get back to it… if we remember!

My dad looked out at the people gathered in the dining room and he smiled. These were people who were a part of his journey. One of them he had taught how to give insulin shots to. She was scared to death and he had coached her to the point where she could do it herself. Another lady, Valerie, who works at his senior apartment complex, had come back from her Myrtle Beach vacation a day early to be in attendance…and to show the envious women that her skin tone had undergone a noticeable change. The senior women, who had talked about getting bikinis, now recognized that the cake they were enjoying was not going to help them look “bikinish!” Some of them were thinking that they would just ease off the carrots at dinner to compensate!

Dad appreciated each one of them. He had a stack of cards, some beautifully written and others filled with jokes about being as old as Methuselah! He laughed and thanked and paused to enjoy. The only hurry in the occasion was getting the cake cut. After that, people had nowhere to go but to finish reading the Saturday Herald-Dispatch, check the mail, and sink into afternoon slumber in their recliners.

The rest of the cake was moved to the kitchen, and would be served at dinnertime. The ladies  smiled at the future sweet offering. It would make the dinner spaghetti seem tolerable.

Dad was filled with joy and gratitude. After he had blown out the candles someone had asked him what he wished for, and with his quick wit he had replied, “Eighty-nine!”

The ladies “amen-ed” that. It would mean another cake!

Reliving Life

February 16, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                        February 16, 2015

                                                  

The needle of my life pushed past the halfway mark a few years ago…unless I live to be 120! Since my chronological age has a six in front of it I spend more than a few moments each day reliving past moments.

Understand that doesn’t mean that I’m constantly reliving those moments- few and far between- when I was hoisting a trophy in the air…or being honored by the Rotary Club for being named “Citizen of the Year”…no, that was a dream.

I seem to relive conversations, talks that stand out for their depth and discovery. As a pastor I remember counseling sessions where I was as stressed out as the confessors. I remember hospital bedside moments where eternity has been anticipated, regrets have been voiced, and hopes have been attached to grim realities.

As a parent I relive some of our kid’s soccer games…David’s high school team winning the state championship; basketball experiences…seeing Kecia nailing four three pointers in a game; Lizi captaining her college cheer squad at football games.

I also relive the boyfriends and girlfriends that graced our homes…sometimes for a while and other times for a moment. Most of the time these “special friends” got kicked to the curb…in a loving Christian way.

I relive special moments…Carol’s surprise 40th birthday party at Mason First Baptist where we drove up to a dark church building, but Carol noticed Lorraine Demorest’s car sitting out front and immediately thought that Lorraine had been killed by an axe murderer while we was practicing hymns on the organ for that coming Sunday.

I relive moments with many of my relatives who have gone on to glory. I think of my Uncle Junior prone to give my leg a pinch if I wasn’t paying attention; my Uncle Bernie’s pipe and delightful laugh; and my Aunt Irene’s taking me to Dairy Queen in celebration of my sixth birthday and allowing me to order a foot-long hot dog, milk shake, and banana split.

I also relive the dark moments and dreaded phone calls. I remember Dave Hart’s early morning phone call that his step-son Gary McClellan had been killed in a car accident; and my wife’s call while I was in the middle of a Deacon’s meeting to say that David, who was two years old at the time, had fallen from our neighbor’s second-floor landing on to a piece of sheet plywood that, thankfully, was laying on top of the asphalt below.

I relive my daughters’ weddings and the overwhelming emotional experience it was for both Carol and me. I’m tearing up as I relive them again right now.

I relive the waiting room experience at Penrose St. Francis Hospital as Kecia was in labor with her second child…and suddenly hearing the cry of a newborn baby a few yards away…and Reagan has been talking ever since then!

We relive life, learn from our mistakes, long to repeat the unforgettable, thank God for the endearing. Every conversation is a gift, another ornament on the tree of my life. Every sunrise is a blessing, every sunset a reminder of the cycle of God’s attentive care.

I pause several times a day to thank God for what has been, the richness of relationships, and the ability to say “Lord, you have blessed me bountifully!”