We're not the kind of family that draws together very often. Mostly for funerals, sad to say. Once in awhile for a wedding, or a big birthday, but mostly for funerals.
But Daddy is turning 90 this year, and that's a big deal in anybody's book. So we're coming in from all corners, to make a honkin' big deal of this one, for him.
I've been working on a memorabilia book, based on a journal he filled out for me 12 years ago. Sidenote: do it now, have those older members of your family write down their memories. You'll want to know later, to share the stories. I'm so glad I even thought to do this awhile back. I took the book to the printer and had 20 copies made, for him, for us kids, for grandkids, and a few extras for him to hand out as he pleases.
Here are a handful of photos from his life's journey book:
|This man - Jessie Calvin Boaz,|
|This was taken in 1965, the one family vacation we ever went on, to Estes Park, Colorado.|
|My parents on our Colorado vacation. I love how young they look here.|
|Daddy worked a lot of jobs, often more than one at a time, but the one he did for the most years, the one he retired from was as a mailman. I don't even know how many times he was bitten by dogs.|
|The four boys who survived to adulthood. One died from pneumonia when he was 4 years old.|
|My Dad and his big sister, Jessie Mae. He said they fought like cats and dogs when she bossed him around.|
|My father and his brother, Dorman. He was 20 and Dorman was 22.|
|Here they are many years later. Both have / had a life-long love of gardening.|
|My father and his second wife, Mary. They were married 12 years before she died of cancer.|
|The second family Mary gave my father. Dad still lives in Kansas with his step-daughter, Sharon and her gang, all nearby.|
|Dad started playing golf in his mid-50's, and still, at 90 years old, plays 18 holes 3 days a week.|
|Dad and Mom when they remarried about 12 years ago. Sadly, they didn't stay married, but they did remain life-long friends.|
So we've got big doings planned. An open house for family and all the friends Daddy has made in the years he's lived in his small town in Kansas. Then we'll all head to the fairgrounds for a carnival, watermelon eating contest, a country band, and finally fireworks. It happens to be Mom's 82nd birthday that day, so we'll have two birthday cakes to celebrate both of them.
Daddy will be seeing his one surviving brother, who he hasn't seen in a good number of years; also grandchildren he hasn't seen in two decades, and he'll meet for the first time many spouses of grandkids and great-grandkids he's been sending birthday cards to for years and years. All in all we are so excited to have this day to celebrate a remarkable man, one whose only goal in life was to have all six of his children graduate from high school, own his home and be able to pay his bills.
Well done, Daddy. You make us awfully proud.
I'll be back in a few days with photos from our big day of celebrating.