I did something last week that I've never done before . . . attended a 98-year-old's birthday party.
My dad's mother turned 98 last Saturday, and my dad threw a small party for her at the nursing home where she lives. So, my sister and I bought flowers and tied a ribbon around a box of Oreo cookies and went together.
Our grandmother has dementia, and her remembrance of us is next to nil. Of the small group that attended her party, she really only knows my dad and step-mom consistently. Even her sweet little roommate is a stranger to her at times.
But it's hard not to have fun at a birthday party, even if you're a stranger. We enjoyed watching our grandmother enthusiastically tuck into her big piece of birthday cake, giggle over the jokes her friend Richard cracked, and delight in her birthday gifts. And what does one give a 98-year-old, you ask? Well, besides the flowers and Oreos, she got a singing card, a pin she wore that said Queen for a Day, and four 12-packs of Hershey bars.
Our evaluation of the afternoon? A little surreal, but fun. I just hope that if I live to be 98, I'll get as much joy out of chocolate bars and Oreos as she does. Simple pleasures know no age.