The tirelessly planned Secret Surprise weekend has come, and gone, and was a wonderful success. Anna was indeed suprised, although perhaps ‘gobsmacked’ is a more accurate term for the level of her astonishment! Through careful planning, and very discrete communication, we managed to make her 80th birthday weekend a HUGE success, without her even knowing that it was in the works. The WE in this case is Cheryl and I, with the support and discretion of Paul and Glenn of course, as well as all of the ‘supporting players’: Carly and her boyfriend Ryan, Sarah and her boyfriend Glen, Ryan and his fiancee Carolyn, Evan, daughter Willa and wife Claire.
We discussed over and over how it would be best to let Anna in on this huge surprise, but finally a decision was reached. We would all quietly hide in the kitchen at Cheryl’s house until Paul arrived back with Anna. Once they were in the front room, we sent Willa out to greet her, saying Happy Birthday GG!
Anna’s reaction of astonishment was as hoped, as she sputtered,
“That’s Willa! What’s Willa doing here?”
At that point, we all slowly appeared; first Evan and Claire, then Carolyn and Ryan, and finally Glenn and I. Not surprisingly, she cried, asked us what we were doing there, cried some more, and wandered between each of us, with hugs and yes, more tears.
We urged her to sit down, and take it all in, but she wasn’t able to sit still for long. Within minutes, she popped up, and continued to go from one to the next, with hugs, and more tears. This lasted for quite a while, but we were able to get her to settle down once lunch was served. A large salad, some barbequed chicken, and some wine was all that it took to get her to sit STILL! Of course, the topic of conversation during that meal was predictable! After the meal Anna was presented with cards and gifts, which got her tears flowing again.
By mid afternoon, it was time to clean up, and head over to Ken and Michael’s house. They wanted her to come by and share her birthday with them, since they had arranged a beautiful cake for the occasion. Once she got to the dining room, she discovered what else there was for her: a dozen or so assorted extended family and friends, also anxious to wish her well! More tears ensued, as she gasped with delight!
The party lasted for several hours, and WAY too much food and liquid refreshment flowed past everyone’s lips. Everyone had a wonderful time, at least until Willa accidentally tumbled in to Ken’s huge inground pool! Luckily, Evan was right there in seconds, so even though drenched, she didn’t even have a chance to cry. Will she have learned her lesson? Not likely! She is two years old shortly, so there’s lots of adventure still to be had.