Sunday, December 05, 2004

Party Hearty

And Ate Aplenty.

I gotta give my sister a lot of credit. M's bar mitzvah party was one of the nicest I've been to and not just because this was the first where I knew most of the people, not counting some of her friends and most of M's friends. And this picture is of the ceiling above the dance floor.

The food was great. The appetizers before the actual dinner included yummy potato latkes (small potato pancakes, a nice choice with Chanukah coming up) and White Castle hamburgers! There was a choice of 2 salads; I had the Oriental one which was very yummy. There were 5 choices for entrees instead of the usual 2 or 3. I had a chateu briand steak, though by the time it came, I wasn't really hungry, anymore. Dessert included lots of old-fashioned NY fare (even the brunch at the shul — temple — included small versions of NY's black and white cookies), including egg creams. There were charlotte rousses (not my favorite), candy bars, Good Humor ice cream bars, and other things I can't remember thanks to my chocolate buzz. Even the place cards for the table assignments were wrapped around chocolate bars.

It was wonderful seeing some of my relatives and my father's friends at a fun occasion and not a funeral as has become the norm. And when the MC invited (okay, it was more like insist — why these people have to be so forceful in making sure people have fun is beyond me) parents and children to get up to dance together, I went over to my 78-year-old father and asked if he'd like to dance with his eldest child. He said he couldn't pass up an offer like that and off we went.

And I made sure to tell all the folks of my father's generation whom I dearly love that I do love them. So many of his friends are gone now and while I think they knew how much they meant to me, I never did tell them. So when I was hugging S goodbye (he and my father have known each other since the Navy), I told him "you know you're like an uncle to me" and he said "yeah," and I told him I love him and he told me, "I love you, too, kid," and so now I know for sure that he knows. When I was young, like so many other young people, I took such love for granted. I always figured there was going to be so much time. But I'm 51 now and that time has run out for some people and is growing short for so many others and some things just need to be said.

When my mother was sick, my father and I were visiting her in the hospital, and we were talking about love and saying that you love someone, which brought things around to my father who didn't used to say it. My father said, "But Shelly knows I love her." I was sitting perched on the edge of the bed, behind him, and I gave him a gentle smack on the back of his head and said, "Sometimes, Shelly would like to hear it." He got the message and now we never hang up the phone on each other or say goodbye or goodnight without adding, "I love you." Because we do, all of us, like hearing someone we love say that to us. And my mother's illness and death made my father appreciate how precious love is and how important it is to say it.

Last night was a party and it was full of love, and that's just the best kind of party, I think.

And sorry for the "impersonal" photos. I just don't put up pictures with personal details or with people in my life. Gotta keep some things private, after all.