Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Celebrating 85 years of excellence

Dad's turning 85 this year.

So to celebrate, we book the Spirit of New Jersey cruise around Manhattan and got what's left of the family together. We lost two very important members last year; my youngest sister and my brother-in-law. My sister to cancer and my BIL to a brain aneurysm, Both are tough to deal with, and both became angels way before their time.

But Dad's still here and that's a good thing.

We began with a limo ride for 15 of us. This may sound weird, but a stretch Hummer is not very comfortable. Who knew the legroom was marginal and most of the inside would be taken up by a bar?

But we got there and met the rest of the family and friends. After we boarded my greatest hope was that none of my family fall or get pushed overboard. Both were a distinct possibility. (I found out later that there was also a pool by the cousins to see how long it would take for my youngest son to piss me off. Well no one did that day so dad got the money).

The food was good, the cruise was wonderful marked by some very important moments.

When we sailed passed the Statue of Liberty, God Bless America began to play and most of the people around us started to cry, me included. It was very moving going by the Lady and hearing that song. For me it was partly because I come from a very patriotic family; we tend to bleed red, white and blue, and partly because after 9-1-1, every Sunday in church for a year, we ended the service by singing God Bless America.

Then the hosts announced dad's birthday, gave him a crown and a dozen roses. He looked a little like Miss America in drag, but the people on the ship gave him a standing ovation. Okay, so I cried again. I'm a wuss. I admit it.

But the best thing about the day was watching the family interact. Cousins pushing cousin, aunt and uncles yelling at them, everyone kissing everyone, story telling, one upsmanship and a lot of "remember whens." It got me thinking - It doesn't get any better than that!!


  1. Kathye,
    That is so touching...your dad is so handsome. What a great reminder of the joys of life. Thanks for sharing...

  2. You're so right. NOTHING will ever replace this beautiful, awesome memory. ((HUGS))) you wuss.


  3. It was a beautiful day with beautiful warm people. My husband and I had a wonderful time.
    There is so much love in that family.. I was blessed to be a part of a inspiring and splendid

  4. What a wonderful day--thanks for sharing it with us.

    Happy Birthday to your dad!

  5. Thanks everyone for being part of Dad's 85th. You all made it even more special

  6. It sounds like you had a beautiful time and you are so blessed to have your dad with you still. As for God Bless America, my office did an anniversary party cruise some years ago and they stopped by the Statue, played God Bless America. I was crying as was my sis (she works with me). We bleed red, white and blue as well because we understand the wonder that is this Nation. God bless your dad, you, your family and the good ol' USA.

  7. What a wonderful way to spend the day. It will always be so special to all those who were with your Dad.
    I had to do a double take on the photo. I didn't realize George was so tall!

  8. NO, Kathye, that was Irene. Somehow, I got signed in as my kid....

  9. Sounds like such a lovely day!! Happy Birthday to your Father! Thanks for sharing. ;)

  10. Happy birthday to your dad!! Sounds like he had a great day!

  11. Only just caught up with this Kathye, sounds like you had a wonderful family reunion, what a lovely way to celebrate your Dad's birthday. Thanks for sharing.