We celebrated her with a beautiful party and she was so very happy! She is still radiant when she reflects about it. Let me tell you how it all started (for me)…
We are a big family and family members live in almost every continent. About a year ago, if I remember correctly, I started hearing my mother’s grandchildren (my wonderful nieces and nephews), who visited her from abroad, saying – we will all meet in Israel on her 90th birthday. At first, I did not really “hear”‘ this and did not give it any thought. My daughter who lives in California (my other 3 children live in Israel) reminded me of this upcoming event now and then, but still no reaction on my side. You see, I am usually a realistic person. But when it comes to birthdays and the birth of a new baby, I become quite superstitious, even using the Hebrew expression “evil eye”… Yes, I was afraid that something bad would happen to my mother if I started planning her next birthday, so many months ahead. But people live abroad, and have to plan ahead, including my own daughter who was so excited and positive about it all, so I tried to push my doubts deep inside. Easiest thing was to look for a date – that is a fact given to us by her birth date. Quick glimpse at the calendar showed that the birth date weekend was taken by a holiday, and yes – the date was chosen, and the club house was booked. This was around September, the event was in May – so we still had lots of time….
At the end of November my mother fell, broke her hip, had an operation and returned from the hospital to a nursing home. (She had been quite independent at her home until then). She needed all our care and attention. Of course, the first thing that came to my mind was, I should have listened to my doubts and fears. Luckily, my mother showed good recovery, and she, herself, started to remind me that her 90th birthday was coming up and that she must be strong and healthy, because she promised her grandchildren. Now I started getting into it – checking catering companies, sending everybody “save the date” notices, trying to plan a program… And there were last minute touches of flowers and framing old pictures, to remind us all how young and beautiful she was, as well as our departed family members, so young and loving in the pictures.
The week before the great day, all of the family started coming from all corners of the globe. What excitement and how wonderful to know that everyone would be together! The party itself was wonderful, just family and closest friends made the atmosphere warm and happy. Older people and many beautiful, happy children all together, and all of them were there for her. For my mother. She was so very happy!
The week following the party my nieces and nephews with their families stayed close by, and together with the Israeli family members we tried to enjoy the time together. We especially wanted to spend as much time as possible with my mother, “Savta,” they all call her. It was an amazing week which left many good memories.
I am thankful that my doubts did not overcome me, and thanks to optimistic and positive relatives who just wanted to help and to celebrate our togetherness – I had a wonderful experience. I wish my mother plenty of good health and happiness. I am waiting for our next happy reunion!
– By Nitza
*Editor’s note: Nitza = aunt extraordinaire –> Seriously, look it up. She’s the best.