One of the reasons for returning to Las Vegas in August (are you kidding me … the desert in the height of summer???), was to celebrate David's older sister Karen's 75th birthday. It's been giving us food for thought … 75 years old. That's how old your grandmother is or maybe your mother, but not your sister. Her daughter, Jill, our niece, flew up from Florida to help us celebrate … she's in her 50s. Really? When did all this happen? Where did the years go? “When did she grow to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall? Wasn't it yesterday that they were small?” Oh, our parents realized it and told us, but who listens to parents?
The sibs (David, his brother and two sisters and me) have decided that each birthday should count now. Who knows how long we'll all be around and together and have David's mom with us to top it off? The 5-year birthdays are especially important and any year after age 90 is major cause for celebration.
Karen chose grilled salmon and veggies for her birthday meal with an ice cream cake (not big enough to accommodate all the candles, I'm afraid) for dessert … and enough wine to keep the spirits high. The celebration was lively with nine of us around the dining room table. Rebecca (our 98-year-old mum) and her friend, Darrell, escaped their assisted living digs and spent the day with us, too. Everyone seemed to enjoy the festivities. Just all being together was a reason to celebrate.
As we grow older, the togetherness and the family unit seem to be more and more important. We help each other. We cherish the times we spend together and hope for many more. Perhaps it's part of the aging process that we recognize our own mortality and that we want to grasp it all for as long as possible. We get up early each morning … let no minutes escape. Let the hard times and harsh words go with the years. Carpe diem, carpe diem!