Saturday started out great. Mandy baked cupcakes plus a layer cake too for Maya's 6th birthday bash and she decorated them so darned cute too! The layers she iced as two separate cakes and drew cat faces on both of them. The cupcakes, once iced, she wrote a letter on each cupcake so that when they were set up in front of the cakes, it spelled out "Happy Birthday Maya" and what a happy little girl she was when she came home and saw all that! Just pure joy spread across her little face from ear to ear!
It was actually a bit of a toss-up though who enjoyed seeing the cake and cupcakes more -Maya or Kurtis!
While Mandy was busy with the cakes, Gram had the other kitchen detail -cooking enough food to feed the 15-16 people expected to be here. Fortunately, Mandy planned a pretty easy menu -Sloppy Joes and Mac'n'cheese -two of Maya's favorite entrees! Betty (Uncle Clate's girlfriend) brought a big dish of her hot chicken dip -and baby, it is some hot stuff too! But good, very, very good! So we also had that to go with the chips and cheese twists plus sodas for the kids; coffee for the diehards like me!
When it came time to open the presents, Maya was so excited. As she was handed each gift and opened it, she was in awe, totally and uttering things like "I can't believe this!" along with lots more "WOWs" too!
Kurtis sat beside her at the table as she opened her gifts and we were pretty surprised to see that he has learned how to touch things of Maya's without her catching him doing that! Made for a lot more pleasant gift opening experience for all of us that way!
One of the gifts that she received was a Bratz doll complete with a radio and microphone thing -a miniature karaoke set, so to speak. This probably will go on record as being one of the most annoying toys ever invented! Guaranteed in the hands of a six-year-old AND a three-year-old to make old farts like Grammy go totally deaf! (And the shock there is that Mandy is the one who bought that damned thing for her too! A move she's now saying that she may very well live to regret!)
I'm not filling this post up -as I normally would -with all kinds of pictures of her and her cake, gifts, etc. Just giving "highlights" of the birthday girl and her party is about all I'm putting in here tonight.
Saturday night though, as we watched the 11 p.m. news, there was a report on there of an accident on Route 322, between Woodland and Bigler. According to the early report, they said there were two fatalities in that wreck. We learned this morning that actually there were three who lost their lives in this and that two of them were a young couple from our area.
Although I didn't know the couple who died, I do know the mothers of these two young people. And as it turns out, the mother of the young woman who was killed, used to babysit my kids about 31-32 years ago. What makes this accident even more tragic is that the couple had two small children -both in the car and safely fastened in (thankfully) and the children were both unharmed. Today, Mandy made two big pans of lasagne -one for here and the other, to take out to the parents of the young man who died. Needless to say, she was in tears when she returned home as it was heart-wrenching to speak to the parents and also, to see those two little children now without both of their parents.
Sunday afternoon, I took Maya with me to attend an organ recital at our church. I wasn't sure how she would do at an event like this as the music was all pretty high-brow, classical stuff, ya know. But she did quite well -sat as still as any child her age probably would be able to do and was quiet and polite during the entire recital. Afterwards, the women of the church served a lovely little buffet -sandwiches of either egg or ham salad, little shells, filled with tuna, pieces of "veggie pizza" along with a vegetable tray and dip. To top that off, there were cookies and cookies and yes, more cookies plus a really great punch of fruit juices, ginger ale and sherbet -and Maya did quite well fixing her own plate -even had veggies with dip -and she loved the punch. (Well, so did Grammy for that matter!)
It was an event still touched by sadness though as at the table where Maya and I were seated, the talk turned to the accident last night. Then the conversation also turned to the son of the family who lived next door to me when I was growing up, who is in the final stages of dealing with cancer.
Later this evening, I spoke to a niece of his and she said the end is very near for him now but that he did manage to see his 55th birthday this past Friday.
This is just so sad as to me, he will always be in my mind as that lovable, comical little boy that I watched grow into a young man and raise a family of his own. His oldest daughter is the same age as my son and his second daughter is Mandy's age. I've lost track though over the years as to how old his son is because he and his wife and the children moved to Virginia a goodly number of years ago due to the employment situation in this area.
He's the "baby" of a very large family -13 children -and as many of his siblings as could have been making trips back and forth for the past month or so now to be able to spend a little more time with him. There are so many people in this area who are part of his family -this very large, very tight-knit family -sisters and his other brother, nieces and nephews along with oodles of great-nieces, nephews and many, many others who are related to him or who -like myself -knew him since he was a baby. His niece was married to my ex-brother-in-law as well so in a manner of speaking this touches me and my family that much more I suppose.
So, if you would, please say a prayer for "Uncle Mikie" -as my kids grew up calling him and for his wife, children and grandchildren especially along with his siblings too as they cope with this loss in their family. It's so much harder it seems to deal with this because of the distance that separates all of us now -makes one wish they still lived nearer to here to be able then to do things to give aid and comfort to him and his family -along with his still being a relatively young man -only 55 years old.
So much sadness right now that it does at times, seem a bit overwhelming. Brings back many good memories too though of younger years, better times, fun, happy events that we all enjoyed once upon a time.
It also all makes one aware of how fleeting life is and really does compel one to take stock of family, of friends that surround us and forces us to draw each -or as many as possible -closer to us too.
And so it is that I close this post tonight -or rather, this morning as it is now 3 a.m. and I should be sleeping -with prayers for comfort for the families of Tom and Diane, who died in the accident and for Uncle Mikie -who will always live on in my heart and in my memories of him over the years.
Peace -to all.