Matt & I flew down to Tucson for his mother's surprise 80th birthday party. I love his family, and it was great to see them, including some new ones who had shown up for the big event. I finally met cousin Sabrina, a charmingly quirky girl who not only speaks Knitter (yes, she's on Ravelry!) but is returning to her home of Portland, OR this month! Now I'm even more eager to get back. Mom was indeed surprised - her expression when she saw us through the front door glass went Stunned... Confused... Elated!
She was thrilled to have us there, but even more astonished when we arrived at the country club for dinner and BAM there was nearly her entire extended family, past business partners, old neighbors from decades ago, etc. Even her brother was there, after her daughters told her he couldn't make it. My sisters Mary & Nancy did an incredible job with the flowers, cake, etc. Brother Greg showed some serious talent editing together a century's worth of photos and music. We all stood up and gave Mom our stories and best wishes. I told the story of putting needles in her bum 5 minutes after meeting her the first time (she was hurting from a hip replacement) as an example of her openness. Some people teased her about her early cooking misadventures, while other spun tales of her incredible brain (she worked with some of the best minds in Nuclear Physics, but her beautiful knit Christmas stockings somehow went unmentioned).
The down side: All the excitement of planning the secret shebang took a toll on Matt's Dad. He had a heart attack and missed the party. That was a real disappointment, but between dinner and the slideshow we got him on the phone and passed him around so he got to speak to nearly everyone from his hospital bed. We visited him Sunday before we flew back out and looked better (pink and smiling). Amazing what O2 can do.
He should be getting a cath today. Updates when I have them.