Yesterday, I watched two DVDs of my grandfather’s 80th birthday party. One DVD included his stories and some songs and the other included memories of him and toasts.
We celebrated his 80th in 1988. Hard to believe it was that long ago now. It was amazing to see all of us circa 26 years ago. So much has changed since then.
In this video, I saw my grandpa (inspiration for this blog), my grandma, Grandma’s maid-of-honor and family friend Evie, our family friend Wayne, who was like a second grandfather, and his amazing wife Rett.
They have all passed away and were fascinating people. I was enriched for having known all of them. Evie was a pilot and had great stories to tell, Wayne was a fireman, and Rett was Grams’ best friend. The fact that all of them lived such long and amazing lives is wonderful!
This photo was taken a few years after this birthday celebration in the same room where the video was recorded. I spent a lot of time in this room through the years and loved it. The turquoise walls, Grandma and Grandpa’s chairs, their piano, artwork, and knickknacks make me smile.
I also noticed that some important people who are now in the family weren’t back then. Many loved ones have joined our family through marriage and births. It is amazing to think that my grandparents now have 18 great-grandchildren, if I haven’t left anyone out. The family love has continued to grow!!
As I watched this DVD, my eyes welled up with tears as Grandpa told stories of Willie, and several other characters that he made up. It was such a gift to again hear his voice as I remember and the lines that each story would end with. It took me back to my childhood and all of the fun times we had as a family.
As I have written about, each Willie story would end with his scratching his head and saying, “I still wonder where rainbows come from.” The entire family would always say it with Grandpa. Chills to see and hear that again!
The family singing was magical. My amazing Aunt Linda can play almost anything on the piano without music, and often transposes the key as needed. She did this on the DVD. All of us in the family sang along to a song wishing a special birthday to Grandpa, also to a song that Mom had written about the family for Grandpa’s and Grandma’s anniversary, and several favorite show tunes. As I watched the singing, I sang along again.
It was wonderful to be back in the family cocoon. Kirk and Ian watched it with me and asked about the people there. Ian was amazed to see his grandparents and his mother looking 26 years younger. “Wow, Mom, is that you?” he asked. “Yes, Ian. It sure is,” I told him.
I was so happy to watch these old videos of how I remember my grandparents and their house looking. To see it again and all of those people whom I love so much was an amazing treasure. So many happy tears and happy memories.
It has been a few years since I have seen my cousins and aunts and uncles. We are planning a family reunion for next summer and I cannot wait! It is great that the fourth generation of our family loves to be together as much as the rest of us.
I wonder what amazing memories will be made and recorded at this next gathering? I am sure there will be many and I am so looking forward to it.