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THE PARTY PLANNER
6 September, 2014
My mother is going to turn 95 on Sunday. After her 90th birthday party, she made no bones about wanting to have another big party for her 95th as well. I never encouraged that because I decided to pay for her 90th out of my savings account, and it depleted it. I couldn't afford to give her another big party.
Fortunately especially over this past year she has stopped talking about a big party for her 95th. In fact, she doesn't mention living to "hunnert" as much as she used to. And when I mentioned her upcoming birthday, she had forgotten she had a birthday coming up and isn't interested in any hoopla.
Well, I can't let that pass, entirely. She is going to be 95, after all. Ned is going to come to brunch on Sunday, Walt and I will be there, and today Ed, her stepson, called and I spoke with him and he will be there for brunch too. I also invited Peg, who used to live at Atria and has now moved to a new facility. Peg is the youngest of her Atria friends and the one who knows everyone. She and my mother always had great fun together at mealtime. I think my mother still remembers her.
She has very few friends at Atria, but she does have friends, whether she knows their names or not. She sees them only at mealtime, but these are the people she seems to relate to most. I decided to try to keep this secret, in case nobody comes. I snuck into Atria earlier this week, before my mother went to lunch, and gave an invitation to Margaret, who usually sits with Robert. I also gave her an invitation for Robert when he arrived, but I saw him go into the dining room and sit with someone else. I don't know if he ever got his invitation.
I sat in the hallway outside the dining room in a chair that faced away from the hall from where my mother (if she went to lunch) would be coming and managed to waylay Jane that way. She and Jane used to sit together when we went to the weekly sing-alongs. Jane has family in Santa Barbara and some day we will drive her down when we are going that way.
In all, I have given invitations to five people and since I haven't seen the sixth person, I will call her. All of these people have some degree of memory problems so it is going to be interesting to see who (if anybody) actually shows up. I told the front desk we could be expecting anywhere from 5 to 10 or 11 people.
I'll make a cake tomorrow and get out early in Sunday to buy flowers and a balloon and decorate the private dining room where we have parties like this and then we'll just see who shows up.
I also wrote to one of my mother's friends from Hospice of Marin. Every year, four of them, who have birthdays around the same time, have gotten together to go out to lunch. I decided to let Marian know that if they wanted to invite her, I would be happy to drive her to Marin county for lunch. I think it would be good for her and I hope that they decide to invite her.
One of the people I invited to Sunday's party was Robert, the only guy in the bunch. He and I have chatted a lot at lunch, though he's quite deaf, so it's not always easy to know if he hears me or not. But when he told me that he had published some stories for his grandchildren, I went to Amazon and found one book, which was only $3. It was dog stories and I figured it might be a good book to give to Brianna and Lacie. It came today.
It's a terrible book!!! And it desperately needed an editor. Here is the second paragraph of the first story.
There are only 3 more paragraphs in this "story," Barbara seeing the puppy and liking him and his becoming her dog and the two of them having their picture taken at a 4H fair.
Robert is a retired veteranarian and an interesting guy to talk with, but it seems that these "stories" are just descriptions of dogs that he had as patients and if there is anything that the dogs do, their actions are so dull, I wouldn't try to give the book to anyone.
But he was thrilled when I told him I ordered his book and I guess that's the important thing.
One last note. When I was at Atria earlier in the week, I was going through all of her printed material--they pass out endless lists and notes and calendars and menus and my mother never looks at them, so periodically I go and discard the outdated ones (this time notes dating back to May). I found a note from the dining room that they were running low on plates and asking if people could check and see if they had any plates from the dining room in their apartments.
Today I was looking for a glass to get myself some water and I opened one cupboard and there were twelve plates from the dining room. My mother doesn't know how they got there, but I got them all stacked up and put outside her door, and then called the front desk to let them know they were there. When we went to lunch, my mother saw the dishes outside and wanted to move them in front of someone else's apartment so nobody would know she had kept them.
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