And there she is…80 years old! Boy oh boy…I sure do hope I look this good at that age! My mom continues to be the most generous and loving person I have ever known. A kind and loving wife. Amazing mother of 4 daughters. Grandmother of 8. She has taught us to help others in every way we can and to give to those in need. Well, it was our turn to celebrate her and all that she means to us.
As Great Eight Friends says, the invitation sets the tone for the party. She has always loved all things vintage, so no better way to create the invitation than to use Brenda Walton’s Victorian Frame from Sizzix. For such a milestone birthday, an invitation with a photo is a must, right?! Knowing which photo I wanted to use, I snuck it into my purse when I saw her on Mother’s Day…apparently not sneaky enough….Busted! It was a black and white photo taken for her cotillion when she was 18 years old! Beautiful, elegant and exquisite, just as she is today.
Friends and family came from every coast to celebrate her. The guest list of those in attendance for this wonderful afternoon was a testament to the kind and generous woman she continues to be. My sister, Lon and her husband Ed, filled their beautiful home and tropical backyard with all of my mom’s favorite flowers. Every type of orchid and every color of African violet could be seen anywhere you glanced.
Not only was she surrounded by friends, family and flowers, we honored her with her all time favorite: Soul Food! Oxtails, fried chicken, collard greens, candied yams, okra and corn, cornbread, rice and gravy and oh yes, you know it….warm peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream! Just smelling the aromas from the kitchen took me way back to our Sundays with grandparents and cousins. She loved every bite and savored every moment. I know for sure that my love for the kitchen came from her.
The love surrounding her that day was tangible. The part that warmed my heart and filled my eyes with tears was at the party’s end when she said to my sister and me, “Everything was perfect….from the invitation to the peach cobbler. You all did such a beautiful job, but you know who I really wish was here?” My first thought was “oh man, who did we forget to invite?” She said, “I wish Dad was here.” And Lon and I both said, “He was here mom.” We definitely felt him there with us.