The birthday pie. When we asked Marissa what she wanted for her birthday, the only thing she could think of was one of my brother's "famous" chocolate silk pies. He made her 3 of them!
Today we celebrated kidcousin Marissa's 14th birthday. She's a beautiful girl with a big, huge heart and it was a pleasure to spend this day with her and the rest of the cousins.
We went to dinner at her favorite restaurant where she ate her fill of barbecued ribs and was seranaded by the servers. Of course she was beyond embarrassed, but it tickled us all to see her in the limelight like that.
As we prepared to return home to open presents and eat the birthday pie, I started to get into the kid's grandma's car to ride home with her and her daughter. Eric, the 15 year old, grabbed me by the arm and begged me to ride with him and the rest of the kids. He said, "you can't go with the adults, you're the life of the car!". Of course I couldn't argue with that, so I got in and we rocked out to the soundtrack of "Hairspray" (which we had all gone to see the weekend before) all the way home.
Once we arrived at the house, it was time to open presents. Rissa was thrilled (though you can't tell by this picture--she hates having her photo taken) with her digital camera, clothes, new computer gadget and her new jammies. She looked like the cat that ate the canary and it reminded me how much I loved these kids. They take nothing for granted and are thankful for every thing they get. Some kids expect laptop computers and new cars for their birthdays and she was thrilled with pajamas and a cheap digital camera.
When she had opened all her gifts, she gathered them together and lovingly took them to her room. I have to admit it really choked me up in part because today isn't Marissa's birthday...her birthday is tomorrow, but tomorrow is the day of her grandma's open heart surgery and she wanted to be able to share this special day with her only living grandparent.
So if I've been busy, distracted or just plain absent, that's the reason why. I'm scared sh*tless about the outcome of this very difficult operation and most especially worried about the children. They are wonderful kids and they've been through hell, literally, during their lifetimes. Despite that, or maybe because of it, they are wonderful, caring, moral, incredible human beings and losing the grandmother (who has been one of the two stable people in their lives) could be a blow they won't recover from.
So please, if you are a praying kind of person, say one for Sharon. Even if you aren't, please send a happy, healing thought this way around 11 am Monday. What I'd really love to see is her make it through the surgery and then she can take over my job as "the life of the...car".
I'll try to keep you posted on Sharon's condition. I love you all, be safe, happy and healthy.