Celebrating 95!

Our main reason for choosing this particular time to come to Vancouver was the fact that my father was turning 95. Rather than all three of we Alberta siblings visiting at once to help Dad celebrate this momentous occasion, we determined some time ago that it works better if we space our visits out giving him company more often. Thus it fell upon me to make this birthday a special one, but I certainly didn’t do it on my own.

On Dad’s actual birthday last Tuesday we took him to his favourite restaurant for dinner. There were four generations at the table that evening. We told Dad that our son, Matt, would pick him up after work and bring him to the restaurant where we would meet them along with Matt’s wife, Robin, and their two boys. What we didn’t tell him was that Matt would be driving the Beatrice, the 1983 Volkswagen Westfalia van that my parents picked up at the factory in Germany, lived in in Europe for over a year, and that Dad drove until just a few years ago when his sight began to fail! It’s now one of Matt’s most prized possessions and the grin on Dad’s face as they pulled up to the restaurant was heartwarming.

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Dinner out, as nice as it was, wasn’t enough to mark reaching such an amazing milestone, however, so we hosted a birthday party at Matt and Robin’s home yesterday afternoon, managing to pull together a group of sixteen relatives, again representing four generations of Dad’s family. There were cousins and second cousins and cousins once removed, though I’ve never really figured out for sure what those terms mean! I just call them all cousins. There were relatives who hardly knew one another and spouses that some had never met. It was truly an enjoyable occasion and though I’m sure he was quite exhausted by the time the festivities were over, Dad was delighted to see everyone.

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10 thoughts on “Celebrating 95!

  1. A sweet Happy Birthday to your Dad! Love the VW van story! What an adventure! My mother just turned 91 and is healthy and busy. We are thankful! I bet you are thankful for your Dad’s life and health, too!
    Charlene H

    • For sure! Longevity seems to run in our family. Mom lived to 92 as did Dad’s only sibling. Mom’s only sibling, my aunt, is 94. She still lives in her own home and does all her own cooking and housework!

    • He’s fairly frail and spends much of his time in a wheelchair now, but he uses a walker when he leaves his building. He surprised us yesterday by climbing several stairs on his own using only the handrails for support.

  2. I can’t believe that your dad is 95. He looks so good. So nice you were able to help him celebrate a important milestone. You are blessed to still have your dad with you.

  3. Firstly happy birthday to your lovely father. What a beautiful surprise and so many memories made. I love the VW story too, I’m sure it brought back so many fond memories for it. X

    • So many members of the family have wonderful memories of that VW van! Many at the party were surprised to see it sitting in Matt’s driveway and delighted to discover that it’s still in circulation.

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