Today we celebrated Mama’s ninety-sixth birthday. The gathering at Parkview Retirement Community included Mama’s niece and her husband, we three daughters and our spouses, all but the eldest of the seven grandchildren, and six out of eight of the great grandchildren. It was quite a lively group with six children ages five and under.
It was gratifying to look around the room and see the three generations celebrating Mama’s life. I remember how she played softball with her grandkids in her expansive front yard, and now they’re bringing their children to honor her.
Mama has always had a core value of caring for the sick, thinking more of others than herself. Now her great grandson, Camden asks to go to Parkview, “So I can feed Grandma Rosser.” As a five-year-old, he knows all about birthday parties and insisted on buying streamers and a birthday banner to hang for the party. He asked her to hold his balloon so it wouldn’t fly to the ceiling.
After we finished cake and ice cream, Camden and Malli wanted to push Grandma Rosser in the wheelchair down the hall. It’s a tender sight to see her being escorted by those little ones. I’m proud of my nieces for raising such thoughtful children. I have to think that Mama’s thoughtfulness has filtered down through her family and now she’s receiving the benefit of her kind heart.
Mama didn’t smile for these pictures, but when the children came close she tried to reach her hand out to touch them and to say something. My grandson, Baker, was so sweet, touching her even though he’s only seen her one time before today.
Mama stayed awake for the entire time and ate every bite of her cold-oven pound cake with vanilla ice cream. When we left she went to dinner and I bet she went to sleep soon after that.
I don’t know that she’ll have any memory of today. But all of us will.
We’ll see the fruit of Mama’s life that was reflected in all those faces that gathered to celebrate her 96 years– all of us who bore witness to her love for us.