Last summer, my brother Mike had the idea to celebrate our Mom’s 80th birthday with all of the six kids in Alaska (we’re scattered out between Alaska, Oregon, Kansas and wherever I happen to be). Our Dad’s 80th birthday had been celebrated during a family reunion at Priest Lake, Idaho in 2010, so this seemed like a great idea!
Besides, Mom and Dad had for some time been talking about some of their ideas and wishes for future planning now that they were in their “Golden Years” and they really wanted to have a chance to discuss this kind of stuff with their six kids.
So on Saturday, November 10th, the out-of-towners descended on Wasilla, Alaska although brother Jon ran into flight delays in Kansas and didn’t actually arrive for several days. The female family members who lived up there – sister Deb, sister-in-law Alana, niece Danae and daughter-in-law Kari – had all been busy planning the big birthday party for Sunday, the 11th. We had a fun time with a gorgeous cake, fun decorations and lots of yummy food! Thanks, gals!!!
The rest of the week was spent reminiscing and helping Mom & Dad with some household projects, including installing a new dishwasher and some computer work.
One evening was set aside for the “big” family discussion. This was the first time we could remember having just the eight of us together since we were all adults and it was a truly amazing experience to feel the years fall away and be just the “kids” again! Mike did an outstanding job of keeping the discussion on track and I believe it was very helpful to Mom & Dad to be able to express their ideas and wishes and also to hear our reactions. We highly recommend that all families try to do this and we are certainly hopeful that this discussion will smooth the way for all of us as the years go by and we need to deal with changes/crises/etc.
The three brothers from out of town stayed at Mom & Dad’s and I stayed at Eric & Kari’s (sister Deb’s upstairs) so I got lots of grandson time! Also got to take them Christmas shopping while I was there – wish John & I could do that every year…
On late Saturday night, November 17th, brothers Jon and Tim and I headed for the airport, dropped off the rental car and one by one, flew back home. Mike had left a couple of days before as he had work commitments. A wonderful time with my family…