My Aunt Ruth who lives in Buffalo turned 100 on February 8th. It had taken her a long time to decide whether or not to have a celebration. When she finally decided to go ahead, one of her children told me that they wanted to limit the party to her three sons, their wives and grand- and great-grandchildren.
So we bought plane tickets to spend her birthday weekend celebrating our grandson Leo’s eighth birthday. When Aunt Ruth changed her mind and decided to include Peter and me, it was too late to change our plans, and she understood. We promised to visit her in the spring when it would be just us so we could get all her attention.
Her daughter-in-law Judy called me the day after the party to tell me that Aunt Ruth had been beautiful and strong, better than when we saw her in October. I was sad to have missed it, but not as sad as when I got my cousin Gerry’s take on the event.
Gerry wrote “…as I looked around the room…I was astounded and quite proud that this family, unto the fourth generation seems so strong and well-put together. And, as I think about it, the most notable quality running through the room was humor and laughter. We all seemed to mark our happiness and love for one another with jokes and smiles….”
“Every one of us,” he wrote at the close, “owes enormous gratitude to Ruth for the grace, charm, dignity and character with which she has infused our lives.
We will not see her like again.”