Tuesday was my mom's 60th birthday. My brother and I intended to have an all out bash to celebrate the milestone but our lovely mother put the kabosh on it before any invites were addressed. At a loss with what to do to celebrate this amazing mother that has loved us and everyone she has contact with well each and every day, we decided to bring what people would say to her.
You can run, but you can't hide, mom! :) Kids don't allow such things. Especially mindful ones like yours. :)
Introducing, 60 snapshots of love.
Three days before the big day - yes 3 days because time got away from us and that's how we roll, folks- my brother and I came up with this stellar plan to have people write what they would've said to her face. Thankfully, she was going on a trip so that bought us added time to collect and organize.
Before she left we gifted her with an Alex and Ani heart bangle bracelet.
The message was about love being our center in times of joy and times of sorrow. Perfect for our theme since we knew people would share memories capturing both seasons of life. I remember when we kids were little and sick she would put fresh sheets on the couch and then snuggle up next to us to make us feel better. That is very much how she approaches life - always present for people, making them feel comfortable and at peace. The queen of "Glamorous hospitality" as my sister in law wrote in her note.
Grant suggested we put the notes in a photo album to easily keep them in one place. I, being the wordsmith, came up with 60 "shapshots" of love. The bonus to this was it allowed people to add pictures and, oh friends, there was some sweetness that came in. At the risk of being axed from Christmas card lists and permanently defriended, I will refrain from sharing any of those images here, but can I just say that there was some sincere hilarity in the 80's? Oh. My. Stars. I laughed so hard I cried.
We also discovered family ties we didn't know existed. Get this, my dad's youngest brother played pee wee ball on the same team as my mom's youngest brother!
We had no idea prior to executing said project.
My kids were excited to contribute
And penned little kid love in an extraordinary way.
The tenatacles of this project spread for and wide. Knowing we'd potentially miss people from different areas of her life, we invited people to spread the word and that they definitely did. Notes from people I didn't know arrived in my inbox with beautiful words.
I put everything together in the photo album
in chronological order from my grandma who knew her the longest to the newest bond with my sweet Ava.
And when we presented her the gift, she couldn't put it down.
Awed by all who contributed and what they wrote, she looked at it all afternoon with radiant smiles and happy tears, which every kid knows to be the sign of a gift positive for the win. :)
Ironically, my brother and I joked that we were going to put a card shower in the church bulletin and the newspaper just to get her blood boiling (aren't we sweet?), and she freaked. In many ways, the inner contents of her gift accomplished the modern version of that plus the party she so adamantly denied. And, it succeeded at sharing what she did want: "Quality time with the people I love."
MORE than 60 snapshots from people she loved came in. Thank you to all that contributed and invited others into the project. Now she can sit down with her book and, with your words, repeatedly spend quality time with all of you.
Happy 60th mom! We think of the world of you, and, as you can tell from the book you displayed on your coffee stand, countless others do too!
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