Friday, August 26, 2016

The Big 6-0

Well, I made it.

The BIG 6-0.  The way this summer was going, I didn't think I would.  Wondering now if this birthday had something to do with my struggles this summer.  Oh, I know it definitely had to do with the fact that Melissa wasn't here to celebrate with us (our 40th anniversary AND my 60th birthday).  But maybe it was THIS birthday.  I mean...when you turn 50, maybe you are only half way home.  You could possibly live to be 100.  But 60?  You won't live to be 120.  So now I'm more than half-way there.  UGH.

So I decided to start the final lap in a positive way.   Now when I say final lap, it could be, say 10-15 more years?  Maybe?  I don't want to live to be 100, really.  Donny & I have already talked about this.  We bought a new mattress last year - should last us 15.  So maybe the last mattress we'll ever have to buy!  I bought him a sentimental card after he did so much for my 60th birthday - he really went all out.  One of the things the card says is "I'll love you forever".  He said "well, easy to say NOW.  Forever isn't that much longer."

Funny how you think about things the older you get.

We really have decided to do it up right, finally.  Starting with this 60th celebration for me.  Originally I told him I didn't want anything. That was when I was in the depths of depression and anxiety the middle of this summer.  Started back on antidepressants and things eventually started to get better.  I was back and forth on this party thing.  Then he made some phone calls (and so did I) and there was no turning back.

I'm glad we celebrated the way we did.

Lots of people who have been an important part of my life (and Donny's too) were there.  Really meant a lot to me.

Mary Kayser bought me this unique bracelet @ Webster Street Market (Mary Clifford's favorite place!)

Susan Westbeld and her dad joined us for the celebration.  He is grandpa to Andrew & Max.We went to one of Kathryn's games @ Notre Dame together.  They loved talking to "Grandpa" and he loved talking to them too!


Angie (Melissa's best friend) was there.  Kind of like having Melissa there...

of course my baby was there too.

Shelly, a long time friend from softball came too.  She was my rock at Melissa's funeral. Love her.

Lacy, Kent & Colbie came too!  Following Fairmont girls basketball (Lacy is the coach)gets us through the rough months in the winter.  Now she runs the 5K.  She's been an important part of my life in the last 7 years...

Denise, my good friend from Fairmont days (our KIDS Fairmont days.)  They have been good to us too in the last 7 years.

Peg.  My favorite Principal.  I told her I was a little nervous about working for a female principal,until Skip (previous principal) said she was Irish Catholic.I knew she'd be ok.  Not only a great Principal, but a good partier too. 

Jaye & Marianne - St. Helen's friends who are back in my life.  We have our own little support group (we are all taking care of elderly parents).  Bloody Mary's once a month at Trolly Stop.  Works for all three of us!(Jaye and I were in the same second grade class together - Mrs. Doocey.  Didn't realize it until Jaye brought yearbooks to one of our "sessions'!)

Bobby & Penny.  Bobby's dad and my dad were friends growing up. I guess I've known Bobby since I was born!  Now we are in the same club together (they lost a son also).Now Andrew & Max's best friends - we spent a weekend with them camping and boatingat Indian Lake.  A new adventure for the boys.  We'll be back!

Me and Mange.  

Randi & Carolyn... our new friends from Compassionate Friends.  We have so much in common (not just the fact that we all lost a child).We do a lot with them now - 5K's, traveling, just getting together. We have a lot of fun together!


The Franz family.  or some of them.  This is the family that Melissa said she wanted to be a part of...she called us "Franz wannabes."  HUGE family and they allget along (kind of - most of the time)...plus a LOT of fun.



Jan & Ron - Donny's youngest sister.  We are pretty close to them too!

Mike (Donny's brother) and Mere, my beautiful daughter in law :)


Bruce, Shelly's boyfriend.  He's from England.  I just LOVE to hear him talk.

My cousin Sharon and her husband Jim.  Jim tells everyone he used to change my diaper...well they DID babysit us.  I doubt if he ever changed a diaper though!

Me & Matthew (my sister Sue's son)...I'm now his Pammom.Happily.  Missed my sister at this party too.

Me & Greg - Denise's husband.  

Jennifer - best friend since planning our 15 year reunion.  25 years!  
She's been a blessing in the last 7 years too.

Mary Kayser, me, Mary Clifford.  Great friends.  Mary C helped with the party - she LOVES shopping - took care of the decorations.  Thanks Mary!


Got some flowers for my birthday!


Dinner at Ladder 11 with Donny's family for my actual Birthday.


Donny was SO good to me for this birthday.  He knew how much I struggled all summer, so he INSISTED that we have this celebration.  It was amazing.

But the best part was on my birthday...he found a card for me from Melissa. It was PERFECT.  SHE would have picked this card...




Made me cry.  Happy tears.  (plus a little $$ for casino...Melissa would NOT have done that. First of all, she wouldn't have the $$, second of all, she HATED gambling.  But the card was perfect.)Nick & Mere were extra generous too...a nice gift card to Flemings.  Not a restaurant that we would normally go to.  Looking forward to THAT too.

So here I am.  60 years old.  Where did the years go??????  I only have a a few left (compared to what I've HAD) so I'm going to try to enjoy what's left.  

Will start with following the boys and their games this fall.  We love that.

Andrew - 3rd grade now.  Plays offense and defense.  He is IN the entire game. Really proud of him!  And he loves school too!  

Max.  On his 7th birthday - at Andrew's football game. Hasn't celebrated HIS birthday yet because it was Andrew's day.This one has MORE energy than he knows what to do with! I was there yesterday to get him off the bus - he got off at the cornerfarthest away from their house.  I asked him why - he said "so I can get exercise on my way home!"  I like how he thinks.  


Fort would be proud of them.  And I think she would be happy with me too.  In fact, I know she was...with her dad too.  On my walk the other day, when I got to Delco (exact same spot it happens EVERY time )- the song Father's & Daughter's came on my radio.  It's the song she & Donny danced to at her reception.  She got my attention.  Then I heard her say (and I HEAR her voice) "Tell dad thanks!"  I'm guessing it was for getting me my birthday card.  She was always good about THAT too.  I have more cards from her than I can count.  And I am SO glad I kept them.  

So here I go...more adventures for ANOTHER decade.  

Cheers to 60 years!



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