Nana's 100th Birthday Celebrations

Sunday, April 18th, 2010
Nana's 100

Family members gathered in Connecticut to celebrate my Mom’s 100th birthday on April 16, 2010. We kept her busy, with three parties in all. Events were a great success, and we all had fun. I cancelled my Friday classes, and we drove to Simsbury CT on Thursday to stay with my sister who lives near my mother. The festivities began Friday afternoon of the 16th, when the assisted living community where my Mom now resides held a party and entertainment in celebration. A soloist (with electronic accompaniment) sang an assortment of popular Broadway songs and old-time hits. At intermission, staff brought in a birthday cake large enough for all the residents, and everyone sang Happy Birthday. The soloist sang particular songs for my mother, and I danced with Mom, a sentimental moment.


Nana's 100 RR Dinner

Not long afterwards, some family members convened for a birthday dinner in the private dining room at River Ridge. The food was excellent, and at the conclusion we had another birthday cake while everyone sang Happy Birthday. Mom happily enjoyed both of these events that occurred on her actual birthday. But there was still more to come the next day, when extended family would be arriving from all over the country for yet another birthday celebration. (Well, you don’t turn 100 very often.) So we let my mother prepare with a good night’s sleep, while Fran and I returned to my sister’s house.
Saturday morning began a pre-party gathering at the home of my niece and nephew, who live in the same town as River Ridge. This was the “young people’s party,” with grandchildren and great-grandchildren in abundance. We really appreciated this opportunity to re-connect with nieces and nephews whom we may see way too infrequently. When the appointed time drew nigh, Fran and I left for the restaurant to make final preparations at the banquet room (flowers, place cards, etc.) and to insure that all was in readiness for the big event. We found things in very good order when we arrived at the restaurant, and I must say that Ann (whom we had spoken with considerably on the phone, and now met in person) and all the staff at La Trattoria, did a fine job of making things go smoothly, and the food was excellent.


Nana's 100 La Trattoria

Family and friends began arriving at the restaurant about 3 p.m., for an hour of meet-and-greet before dinner. People came from as far as Michigan and Florida. My three children and their partners were there. Mom (“Nana” to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren) arrived at 3:15 p.m., looking radiant. Thirty of us sat down for dinner shortly before 4:00, at the bellow/invitation of my voice, since I had something of the duties of MC for the event. Food service was efficient and friendly, so that by 5:00 p.m. we were ready for, yes, you guessed it, a very large birthday cake (the third!). The cake was presented with accompaniment by my nephew John playing “Happy Birthday” on my father’s trumpet, while we all sang along. While folks ate cake and had tea and coffee, various presentations were made. There was a beautiful picture book with photos that illustrated events throughout Nana’s100 years, and also a memory book in which family members gave their stories of Nana. In closing, various family members spoke about Mom’s life and how much she meant to them. It was an outstanding event. After returning with Mom to River Ridge and seeing her ready for the night, we joined other family members for the post-party gathering at my niece’s house, where socializing continued late into the night.

The next day we went to church with Mom in the morning and then returned home safely to Drexel Hill. The whole occasion went extremely well (anyone want some extra birthday cake?), and I am extremely grateful for having the parents that I was blessed with.