Celebrating a long life with joy
My father-in-law turned 90 years old last week. I would like to share with you how we celebrated this special event in this post. It was a very special birthday celebration which almost didn’t happen because of sudden changes in travel restrictions. We were so lucky that the weekend strict lockdown in Brisbane didn’t affect us.
A Positive Outcome From 2020
One of the most positive things about 2020 was nurturing relationships that are important to me. Normally my life is extremely busy and I feel continually jetlagged from unrelenting shift work as a nurse. Many of you know that I have been off work since May because of complications during surgery. Having time on my hands has been a blessing in that I have been able to spend a lot of time with my in-laws.
I have had time to visit for a chat and a cup of tea, and not stress about needing to be somewhere or do something on my brief days off. I also have been able to attend all the family gatherings, whereas most of the time I work on public holidays and other special occasions. This is something I don’t take this for granted. I feel like I have been blessed with this time.
Stronger Family Relationships
My relationship with my parents-in-law and my sister-in-law have been the most improved by this. My sister-in-law and I have been able to plan some lovely family gatherings such as my mother-in-law’s High Tea surprise birthday party. I could also help with my sister-in-law’s 50th birthday Alice In Wonderland party. Just in general we have become closer this year, bonded by being married to two lovely men who are definitely the product of their equally lovely parents.
My sister-in-law and I share another thing in common. Both our mothers passed away when we were newlyweds in our early 20s. I think that it is why we know that we need to create lovely memories during the latter years of our parents-in-laws’ lives. Every birthday and special occasion has taken on new meaning as we are aware that time with them is limited.
My Father-in-law’s Special Birthday Celebration
My father-in-law’s 90th birthday is the latest milestone for our family. We celebrated the occasion with a lovely lunch. The family let me organise the event which I felt very privileged to do – they needed to put some trust in my organisational skills! I don’t have the same creative, event planning abilities as my sister-in-law (just look at what she did for my mother-in-law’s High Tea and you will see what I mean!). But I am pretty good at organising things.
The day was a success, and the smiles on everyone’s faces were my reward. We had the lunch at a club nearby which we have used previously for events.
Celebrating a Long Life
At 90 years old, my father-in-law has been through a lot, including serving in the Australian Army in the Korean conflict when he was a young man. He has chronic pain from injuries sustained in a fall through a roof, and suffers from COPD. His mind is still sharp and he and my mother-in-law still drive and live independently in their own home. Cec is one of the kindest men you will ever meet. To be able to organise this special birthday for him was an honour.
I was brought to tears when the whole club sang Happy Birthday to him. I created a collage of photos of him from babyhood until now and he was “tickled pink!”. He talked about each photo and shared his memories with us. His sister aged 92 was able to come from Northern New South Wales. A close family friend who has been like an Auntie to my husband and his brother was also able to come.
The Special Birthday Celebration Almost Didn’t Happen
We have been holding our breath leading up to this event. No-one knows whether the border to New South Wales will close again or we’ll be sent back into lockdown. There was a weekend lockdown as close as Brisbane and Logan because of two new strains of the more contagious UK variant of Covid-19 being detected in Brisbane. We have been extremely lucky here to avoid it.
Treasure your loved ones as you never know when they will be taken from you. This year marks 30 years since my mother passed away, and 10 years since my sister died suddenly from an epileptic fit. It’s hard for me to fathom that so much time has passed. Many of you know that my mother-in-law is in the final stages of lung cancer so we value any time we have left with her.
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