Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pam's 80th Birthday Luncheon

The invitation I sent out for mum-in-law, Pam's birthday luncheon (It can be enlarged for clarity)
The back of the invitation card with all the the details Our darling grandchildren were dressed in their best party finery. Here they wait patiently while the adults to get ready. Our little boy had new sandals to match his new clothes, while our granddaughter had high-heeled sandals and lilac tights to match her checked skirt and lilac top

Grant, our sons and daugthers-in-law enjoy coffee and biscotti on the deck of the hotel while waiting for the guest of honour to arrive. My maternal aunt Kay is sitting behind Angus

Last month I posted a birthday wish to my mother-in-law, Pam, which you can read about here. As she turned eighty this year, I wanted to do something special for her. I arranged a surprise luncheon at a hotel in a in Kwa Zulu Natal. (Everyone except Grant and I, Angus and Amanda lives in Kwa-Zulu Natal) I sent out special invitations which had a photo of her as a 24-year-old on the front and all the details of the lunch on the reverse.

On Saturday, 20th June, her close family and friends gathered at the hotel and waited for my mum-in-law and her husband, Graham (after being a widow for thirteen years, she met Graham and theymarried last year in October. You can read about here) to arrive with her sister, Carole. The latter had managed to convince mum-in-law that Gill (their sister) and David, their brother wanted to meet Graham and that they were all going for lunch at this specific hotel.

Pam's brother, David spoke a special blessing and prophesy over Pam and Graham

My older daughter-in-law, Debbie, pays tribute to Pam by reading about the NobleWife in Proverbs 31

You can imagine how surprised and overwhelmed my mum-in-law was when she saw my husband whom she thought was still in the Sudan, her grandsons and wives, great-grandchildren as well as her siblings.

It turned out to be a wonderful reunion for most of us who had not seen each other for decades. The last time Carole had seen Angus was when he was four years old! Here he was a grown man with a wife and a baby of their own on the way! My husband and I had not seen David and his wife since their marriage more than thirty years ago (my husband was David’s best man ), so our meeting was very enjoyable as well. My maternal aunt Kay is always included in the Hedges family socials. She has been part of my family for 52 years and knew Pam and my late father-in-law well.

Here Debbbie poses with the oldest member and the youngest member of the Hedges family while admiring the birthday cake

Our grandchildren had been looking forward to the “party” for weeks; in fact, our granddaughter had been counting the “sleeps” since the beginning of that week. On Saturday morning, they were awake at daybreak asking if this was the day of the party. I dressed them both and as we adults still had to get ready, these two little children sat quietly on the sofa and waited for us to finish. We had bought new shoes for both of them; sandals for our grandson and beautiful black sandals with a high heel for our granddaughter. She loves “tippy-toes” because she wants to be like Granjo who only wears high heels when going out! They both looked adorable and were on their best behaviour at the dinner table. They were allowed unlimited glasses of fizzy drinks (sodas) which they do not normally get. They asked to be excused soon after the second course and went outside to play in the hotel garden. By the end of the afternoon, after playing on the slide and in old car tyres, their faces, hands and clothes were black and rather unrecognisable from the morning! They had a wonderful time!

The guests at Pam's birthday luncheon

Once all the family had arrived, greeted each other, most exclaiming that they'd not seen each other for years, they all tood their places at the table. Pam sat at the head as befits the guest of honour. Angus then opened the occassion with a beautiful prayer of blessing over all who have come to share the time with Pam and at the same time, said grace for the food which would be served and enjoyed together.
After Grant's beautiful speech in which he paid tribute to his mum, various others also blessed Pam with special words and prayers. David spoke a special blessing over her and Graham and prophesied that they were entering a new season in their lives: that of being together and serving God together. Debbie had a word from God in the form of Proverbs 31 which she read to Pam. A very special homage to a very special lady. (When I spoke to Pam today, she told me she had a lump in her throat at this)

Get-togethers like these make me realise that the most important thing in life is people; your relationships with them and the effort you make to strengthen those associations.

No property, money or possessions should take precedence over people. When a man is lying on his death bed, he doesn’t to see his bank balance, wealth, fancy car, career or game farm; no, all he wants is to have his loved ones around him. In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus warns us: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in. Store up your treasures in heaven where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will be also. “
So while we are on this earth, we need to nuture bonds with our family and friends. Don't leave this too late. Make that little effort to pop in and see your ageing mum in the retirement home, spend half an hour visiting your neighbour, take a few minutes to ask the lady at the supermarket check-out point how her day is faring. This is just one way of storing up treasures in heaven...
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  1. Looks like a marvelous celebration! Nothing like getting together with wonderful friends and family! Your photos are delightful! Thanks for sharing the fun!

  2. I so enjoyed the entire series of photos and loved to see the invitations at the top there ...but most of all loved the words you wrote in the last paragraph. So true.

  3. Hi Jo, I felt I joined in the 80th birthday party. Lovely post and great pictures. I bet that cake tasted good.

    Anyway, I popped on to say there's an award waiting for you on my Val's Ramblings blog

  4. Hi Sylvia K;) thanks for your kind comment! It was a lovely get-together and the folk are all still talking about it.

    Hi Island Rambles Blog;) welcome to my blog. Thanks for your kind comment. I've visited your blog and left a comment.

    Hi Valerie;) Thanks for your positive input. It was a very special party. Ooh, and the cake was delicious... there was a lot left over and my mil tells me she and Graham are still enjoying it after dinner with custard. Popping over to see my award. (((Hugs)))

  5. What a memory maker for all involved. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful moment in your world. Worth the effort to all involved!

    I keep hearing so much about South Africa. Our friend's daughter will be spending the year there. Just thought it would be nice to check in on a blog or two. Time well spent!!!


  6. Hi Jan;) welcome to my blog. I trust you'll visit again.Thanks for your kind comment. I'm off to visit your blog.

  7. what a wonderful event for your mum-in-law...beautiful invitation for her event...love that photo of her :) she was beautiful and still is!

  8. What a beautiful event. Thanks for sharing the love of your family with all of us.

  9. What a wonderful surprise party to organise and to enjoy such a rare and wonderful get-together for the tribe! Well done! Looks like everyone enjoyed the event.

  10. Hi itsnotjustapicture;) thanks for popping in - it's good to see you again. My mil has always been lovely and looks younger than 80. her husband is closer in age to MINE (in his 60's) than to her.

    Hi Sandy;) thanks for popping in and your kind comment.

    Hi Arija;) yes, it was a wonderful event. My mil reminded me yesterday that the last time our family were togehter was Christmas 1989. (20 years ago!) so this was a special occasion all round. Thanks for your visit.

  11. a beautiful family and the perfect party to turn 80. all those years inbetween seeing each other just makes it better.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo