We had a wonderful afternoon at the Claim Jumper on Saturday with (most of) my family to belatedly celebrate my grandmother's 98th birthday. When her birthday really happened on August 14th, my parents were out of town, an aunt was IN town and visiting with my grandma, and it just wasn't a good time to have her all to ourselves. So we waited until last Saturday and celebrated with lots of food and dessert. My grandma ate lots of her favorite barbequed ribs, and even had some to left over to take home. When the time came for dessert, everyone said they didn't want any, and my dad looked sad, so my husband whispered "Tell the waitress you want the Motherlode chocolate cake." So I did, and my dad looked really happy again. (Sometimes I have to look out for my dad that way.) Claim Jumper's Motherlode cake is 8 layers of decadent, gooey, rich chocolate, so there was enough for everyone, and of course everyone decided they wanted dessert after all. (Hmmmm... and actually the picture shows the little red velvet cupcake they brought Grandma and not the Motherlode. Pity. ) Take my word for it, though, it's yummy.
It was a fun afternoon, full of family and laughing. My grandma leaned over and told me how much she enjoys getting out and seeing everyone. People energize her - they really do. Too soon it was time to go and we helped my aunt get her out to the car, and said our goodbyes and I love yous.
I'm probably repeating myself, but my grandma is one of a family of 9 sisters and 2 brothers. They're all gone now, except for her sister Beulah, who is almost 101, and her younger sister Bonnie, who is very ill in the hospital right now. When my grandma got home that afternoon, she found out that her sister Beulah had passed away that day. Now, I know that 101 years old is a ripe old age, and it was to be expected, and even, in a way, to be cheered. But my grandma is taking it hard, and I know she's so worried about Bonnie. I've been wondering what it must feel like to be the (almost) sole survivor in your family. Lonely, I would imagine. I keep thinking that soon she'll want to go home too, and that is a hard thought for me. I try to remember that I'll need to feel happy and joyous for her, but then I can't help selfishly wanting her to stay longer. So then I try to focus on the fact that a woman who can put away as many ribs as she did, and a baked potato and a piece of Motherlode cake really isn't the sort of woman who's ready to leave this world anytime soon. It does my heart good. Love you, Grandma!