So the other week, I wrote about a recent short trip to the city, and I said that the reason for that drive was a family friend’s birthday celebration. I thought to write this post and talk about that day in a way that doesn’t reveal too much, but keeps the sweetness of that day and his gesture. 😊

About a month ago, we received an invite in the mail. At the back of it it said something along the lines of the birthday girl doesn’t know about it so shhhh, and I got all giddy seeing these words on there. I love gestures of love, and even more so when I see it from those who are significantly older than me. I think seeing love that doesn’t seem to fade is just absolutely lovely. The event was held in a fancy Italian restaurant in Chicago, and I thought it was just a lunch with them and their family and friends. It turned out to be much more than that. 😊

Since we don’t go into the city often, we wanted to get there earlier than we were supposed to be to look for parking. We ended up being about 10 minutes earlier than the time indicated on the invite and were, at least I think so, the second “group” (my mom had work so it was just my stepdad and myself) to arrive. I decided to step outside to take in where we were for a bit and took a photo or two. 😄

When I went back inside, a group of people had just arrived and started setting the place up. So we were in one of the banquet halls of this restaurant, where there were round tables that all-in-all seated over 100 people. I saw this group of people bring in balloons and collages, and vases with small flowers inside it. One of them said to put one tall and one shorter vase on each table, fill them with water, and light a small candle to float in each one. Already on the tables were purple and yellow star balloons. In the front of the room, they hung gold balloons that said “50”, and beneath it they put two collages, a cake, and a bunch of cupcakes. This was the center table and beside it was the gift table. 😊

A little later on, people started flowing in, and I sat in our table, watching as things unfolded. People took their seats and caught up with their friends and colleagues, the DJ started playing music (at times a bit too loudly), and then, just like that, we were being asked to be quiet because the birthday girl was arriving. ☺️

I was at the back of the room so I couldn’t clearly see her entrance, but I heard her yell “Oh my God!” when the door opened, and then music started playing. They, herself, her husband, and their kids, then made their rounds around the place, going from table to table to greet the guests. I watched them whenever I could, and I saw her wiping tears, laughing, and hugging her family. As it turns out, her husband flew their relatives from all over the US just to be there for her on her birthday. ☺️

So the event itself unfolded, and it was like a mixture of a debut and a wedding. I found it weird at times, but it added to the wonder and the aww! factor of the day. The food, as I expected, was really good too. 😆

This happened about two weeks ago, but I find myself smiling as I recall the events of that afternoon. It’s love manifested in a world where hatred seems to be everywhere. It’s evidence that love can last years and years, and that age need not restrict extravagant romantic gestures. As the program unfolded, I saw her smile from ear to ear, and the occasional tear wipe, and I saw him walk around, also seemingly emotional and at the same time relieved and proud that he pulled it off. 😊

I’m sure I’ll encounter these types of things again, and I very much look forward to it. These are like fairy tales that come to life right in front of me, and I love seeing how love shows itself in a world steeped in hatred. This isn’t the whole story of that afternoon, but I hope this excerpt shows even just a glimmer of the wonder of that day. ❤️

’til next time,

🐰❤️

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