A couple of Saturdays ago Himself and Sis threw me a birthday party. It was epic. No, really, in my mind it was. They invited family and friends that are important to me. There were a few friends I hadn't seen in far too long (my fault, mea culpa) and others we see frequently. It was fun to catch up with all that was going on in everyone’s life. Afterwards I promised myself that it is not going to be a year or two or four until the next time we see each other.
For some of the decorations Himself put together a number of picture boards. He spent weeks secretly, and then not so secretly, going through photo albums, boxes of trinkets, and scrapbooks finding mementos of my life. He created boards of my travels and hobbies, friends and family. Oh what fun it was to look at them all!
“Around the World in Fifty Years” had pictures of a Jaycee trip to Hawaii, and my adventures in Europe and Russia. Our engagement pilgrimage to Rome was also featured as well as our trips to Chicago and Virginia Beach.
One board was mostly things I did with the Jaycees. There were the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame run and the radio celebrity golf outing projects that I chaired. Parties, mud volleyball, bowling, and a night at the races were on that board as well.
Himself found photos and artifacts that I had forgot existed. When I earned the Girl Scout Gold award way back when I received a letter from President Reagan congratulating me on the achievement. I didn't remember that at all.
The best part of these boards, though, was the stories they invoked the night of the party and the days since then. It was such a joy to share the memories with everyone. I often heard Remember this? and I forgot about that and Did you really. . . ?
We remembered where our lives joined and intersected, times that were important or fun. Weddings, graduations, family vacations - they were all there. We thought about people who aren't with us any longer and ones that are a distance away. Silliness and seriousness were pictured, too.
I have always been a prolific picture taker. But all too often I take the photo, look at it and then file it away, never to be seen again. If that occurs, what was the point of taking the picture in the first place?
Yes, the party was epic. I viewed my past, thought about the future, and, most of all, enjoyed the present.
PS. And, no, I didn't really run with bulls or jump out of an airplane. Himself is just really good with Photoshop!