My son and daughter-in-law planned an utterly surprising (to me), belated birthday (cum retirement) gathering for me in San Francisco with long-time friends on Saturday July 23. I was overwhelmed to say the least by their thoughtfulness and love.
Molly (we're in almost matching dresses), who I've known since my first year in law school, flew in from New York City. We've shared so many wonderful and sad times but like all my friends, we have always been available for one another wherever we may live.
Eileen, Panda (who couldn't attend the actual event but stopped by with some wine), Mara and Dennis, Ted and Marlene, Linda and Claude, Karen and Brian, invitees from other times in my life, were also welcome guests. I so enjoyed my different friends meeting one another.
Alex and Glory planned this night amidst their crazy schedules, wedding, new jobs, honeymoon, etc. looking up my friends, coordinating with each one, inviting each personally. Linda and Claude graciously hosted us at their lovely SF Victorian house in lower Pacific Heights. Doug kept the secret as we "just" happened to make this weekend work in the Bay Area.
Thank you to my beautiful friends who came to share this time with me and those who sent their regrets. You cannot imagine how special that evening was and will remain in my memory.
This birthday year has been tough at times (one of those calendar stepping stones that chronicle your age but belie your self-worth and perceptions) and emotional, with various life changes (retirement, moving, making a new community) but my friends and family have made, and continue to make, this year meaningful and so hopeful.