We celebrated my Mom’s birthday on 29 Aug 2015. It was one of the most emotional, precious and memorable experiences I have ever had in my entire life! Our family is truly blessed! We all met in Tampa, FL 27-30 Aug 2015, stayed at a hotel in Ybor, the historic district of Tampa, and celebrated my Mom’s birthday on Saturday night.
Our plans for the weekend were to enjoy our family, reconnect, reminisce and celebrate Alice’s birthday. We had five generations represented in person, and with our stories, we had up to eight generations! It was truly amazing! We had a nice turnout, from our newest member that is 11 weeks old (Andrea Jenea or AJ) to our oldest member, Inell who is 82 years old! We used to have family reunions every other year, but with all the competing priorities in our lives, we stopped having them years ago. In the past, when we got together, we were the kids in my generation, and now most of us are the grandparents!
Inell (my mother’s sister) brought two photos of their grandparents (my great grandparents):
- Eva (Jasper) Brown was born in 1897 in Quitman, MS and died in 1982 in Mobile, AL. We all had fond memories of Momma Eva.
- Joe Brown – was born around 1893 in Mobile, AL. At this time, I do not have the date when he died. Alice, Inell and Yanetta remember Daddy Joe very well! (see Great Grandparents)
I remember Momma Eva, but I don’t remember meeting Daddy Joe. I visited their home many times. One day when visiting, I cleaned Momma Eva’s home for her. I thought I was doing a great job. When Momma Eva saw it she was pissed. She felt she couldn’t find any of her stuff! (thanks for sharing Cheri, one of Inell’s daughters).
After eating dinner at a local restaurant, we came back to the hotel and continued our celebration with cake and ice cream (courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn!). Andrea (my sister) led the discussion on a trivia quiz for events in 1935 (year Mom was born). Although I have heard these stories many times, I still enjoy them! I always learn something new as well. We started with Inell, Yanetta and Alice – all three of them grew up as sisters in Mobile. Then we moved around the room.
You could hear the love, appreciation, respect and support in their voices and mannerisms as we walked down memory lane. Alice touched so many hearts – the best Aunt, Sister, Cousin, Friend! Everyone laughed and enjoyed the stories.
A lot of relatives moved from Mobile or Birmingham to Chicago, but we always met up in Mobile for a week or so during the summer. Now we live around the world – to include Thailand!
My sister Andrea told my mother how beautiful she is, how much she loves her, and how much she appreciates her! Some of the stories I had completely blocked from my memory because they were painful when they happened. I also shared some painful memories but the common denominator was our mother was there to give unconditional love and support. Even though we had hard times, as we shared the stories they were a blessing for all in attendance because of the love, strength and determination of a Mother’s love that showed no boundaries!
My brother stood up and positioned himself so that the entire room could see him, but more importantly, so that he could look into his Mom’s eyes while he talked about the many reasons why he loves and appreciates her. Before he could get the words out, he was holding back tears, which caused everyone’s tears to flow. It was amazing how he described his success and challenges. He reminded us just how important Alice has been to him. He continues to call her, and especially when life gets tough, her voice continues to calm him.
Following is my family!
Happy 80th birthday Mom!!!
Between The Dashes