A big 50 Birthday Gathering.
In just over a week my sisters and I will gather to celebrate yet another one of us turning fifty. As of mid February only one of the five of us will still be under fifty and not far behind. When we all gathered after our mother died in 1993 we resolved to try and all gather and have a few days of getting together, drinkies and gadding about on happy occasions rather than just at funerals. This year my sister Joan (in the pink top) will be the one who turns fifty.
She and I were born on the same day but six years apart and I always used to tease her with the fact I had to share my birthday cake... When I turned fifty, six years ago we shared our cake happily...and Don ordered it and arranged and paid for all five of us to stay in a unit in town so we could have some time out as well. It was wonderful. And as usual wonderful of him to care enough to arrange all this. Not every one's husband would bother.
This year we will do our best to make this a happy time for Joan as she also lost her husband in a bus accident, and it will be bittersweet for her to compare how it is now to how it was this time last year.
These photos were taken just before Christmas 2006 and the one taken of my sisters and I has us all looking down as it was taken by Don from wheelchair height. Its funny when I look at old photos you can see the ones he took - he would usually make some remark - shit stirring - and take the photo just as we reacted.
So anyway only the three of us will gather this year in Joan's new house (she recently moved away from the old neighborhood so as to be a little less lonely). Melissa and Chris surprised us by saying they'd fly up to Brisbane just for the day - and their making the effort really made Joan happy. Melissa has bought Joan something very special which will no doubt make her bawl her eyes out, but she will love it as well...My other daughter Alison will be in the process of moving herself, down in Melbourne but made sure she remembered Joan this year. I am so pleased and proud of my kids - they don't forget things like this... like many twice their age do.
Sadly the other two sisters will be in New Zealand and as a Christmas visit was made by one to Joan its easily understood that its too far to do so soon after wards.
For everyone there are certain times of the year which are more emotional than others - we all have these times... but when they pass you really appreciate at least being able to feel honest emotions, be they high or low. I am really looking forward to this trip, to seeing my sisters again and my niece Alanah - also my own daughter. It gets a bit isolated out here, and 90% of the time I love being out here like this but of late its beginning to really bite and I need to be with people I love.