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Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Certain birthdays throughout our lives are considered to be significant.

Like the first, the thirteenth, eighteenth, and twenty-first.

After that the leaps get a little bigger: twenty-five, forty, fifty, seventy-five.

But, once you hit ninety1, I think all of them become significant.

For her 90th, a few years ago, I put together a little luncheon for Granny and a couple of her girlfriends.

She has now out-lived them, and we haven’t had an official celebration since.

Four significant years later, I felt like it was time again.

Granny has become self-conscious about her physical limitations and appearance and gotten so that she doesn’t like anybody outside of a close circle of people to see her.

So, I gathered a group of folks she wouldn’t feel the need to “put on the debutante” for, to celebrate her 94th.

We finished up the celebration dinner just a little while ago.  But I wanted to write down my thoughts while they were still fresh.

It was me and The Attorney, of course.  Plus, my friend since high school, “J” and his wife.  And Granny’s nurse’s aide, Sam, who brought along his girlfriend.2

We kept pretty simple.  I roasted a couple of chickens.  The Attorney brought the wine.  “J” brought along Granny’s old pal Jo Ann.  His wife and Sam’s girl helped Granny pick out a nice dress and fussed over her hair.  Then Sam “escorted” her to the party.

I looked around the table at one point and was struck by the diversity of our little group.   My Granny or not, it can’t be denied that there is something remarkable about a woman whose birthday celebration can bring together a collection of folks that include two gay men, an Asian-American (Sam) and an African-American woman (his girlfriend), and garden variety heterosexual white folks (“J” and his wife).3

If not remarkable, certainly somebody special.

After dinner, but before the pound cake4, cards and thoughtful little gifts were opened.

The most thoughtful, and the one that seemed to touch Granny the most was from The Attorney: a delicate silver pendant necklace with three small inter-locking rings that represent memories – Yesterday, Today, and Forever.

She just stared at it for a moment.  I could tell her emotions were getting the best of her and she was trying to hold it together.  And she did until, because of her failing dexterity, The Attorney opened the clasp for her and placed it around her neck.

Standing behind her, he put his hands on her shoulders.  She reached up and took what she could of his hand in one of her small ones.  Then she held on while the flood gates opened.5

I don’t think I have ever been more proud to have The Attorney in my life than at the moment.  I thought to myself, “Hold on to him, Granny.  Hold on.”  I know I’m going to.

As hard as I can.

Yesterday, Today, and Forever.

{ fin }

  1. if you are lucky. []
  2. What a waste of a beautiful bubble butt. []
  3. and range in age from 20’s to 50’s. []
  4. A birthday tradition in our family []
  5. Pretty much around the table. []
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  1. Sounds like a beautiful evening and was a great entry to read about – thx for sharing. My grandmother passed away a few years ago and I still miss her.

  2. DanNation DanNation

    Great post Tony! Happy Birthday to Granny!

  3. the tears flowed from the table to Virginia… that is sooo sweet and sooo awesome…

  4. Thanks for sharing this lifetime experience. Whatever happens Granny will be around forever.

  5. Garrett Garrett

    Have been reading your blogs for a few yrs now and this is my first time posting. I have to say… your ability to expression emotion in a few simple words, have, on more than one occasion left me speechless. Happy Birthday Granny.

  6. Marvin Marvin

    Birthday wishes to Granny from me too! Such a heartwarming story – the Attorney is certainly a keeper for life.

  7. That’s beautiful. Actually brought a tear to my eye and I wasn’t even there. Nice post.

  8. I read the vile lies and the out and out hatred being directed at gays, about how our families are fake and our relationships a blasphemous parody, etc., etc. Then I sit here this morning with my Fritz boiling off, straining and jarring the last of the maple syrup run of the season, reading of this lovely party, the diversity that struck you about it and the two loving gay men who staged it. And I mourn for an America that has nothing better to do than heap abuse on those who don’t conform to the narrowest possible definition of what it is to be a human being in a world full of individuality and wonder and love.

  9. Another great post, as usual.

    I believe Granny was not just touched by the gesture and the gift, but knowing that YOU are in good hands.

  10. John John

    T, I have to tell you. You brought me to tears and it takes alot to do that. My heart and best wishes goes out to granny, you and the attorney. Tony you always make my day with your posts. I have so much respect for you and what you do for granny your an inspiration to of all…


  11. brian brian

    Happy Birthday to Granny!
    She has seen so many changes in her lifetime.
    Who could imagine?
    She and you are blessed.

  12. Jim T Jim T

    Beautifully touching tale, thank you so much for sharing this and wish Granny a Happy Birthday for me. I miss my Granny every single day and she passed so long ago. The tears flowed all the way down to Florida, too.

  13. Yours is the only blog that I read that makes me cry… and I’m thankful for it every time!

  14. Sue Sue

    This is too sweet for words; your attorney is a real sweetheart! Wish Granny a Happy Birthday from me.

    You should have been a writer Tony!!!!

  15. Paul from Q Paul from Q

    Come now! You lucky dog–and I’m not talking about Jo Ann. I’m glad to know Sam is still part of the picture: care takers need care–and that he and you and they had such a celebration–priceless. Bask. Revel. and thanks for sharing.

  16. A belated Happy Birthday for your Granny from me, may God continue to bless her!

  17. irisgirl irisgirl

    Dear Tony—-I truly feel honored to read your touching words, and to witness another glimpse into your beautiful love story.

    The tears also flowed from the table to Illinois….

    And Blobby spoke my thoughts as well…..that Granny taking the Attorney’s hand was a gesture of many feelings, especially the peace she must feel knowing that You are in good hands.

    Happy Birthday, Granny, and love to all of you!

  18. TonkaManOR TonkaManOR

    Beautiful post. You are a very lucky man!

  19. It’s posts like these that make ME tear up.

  20. Mazel Tov Granny …… best wishes my dear.

  21. Daryl Daryl

    Tony, thanks for sharing!!!!

  22. David David

    I loved that post!

  23. charley charley

    what an profound expression of love!

    the words you’ve written and shared with us around your virtual table west of Mayberry.

    sharing your obvious joy and love for Granny and the Attorney!

    provoked tears out here in California.

  24. Dave Dave

    West Tennessee checking in with tissue in hand.

    Tony, I just want to come to your end of the state and hug you all.

    Belated wishes to Granny.

  25. Kerry Kerry

    Th flood gates opened just reading this– I can’t imagine actually being there at the table. How sweet and perfect. Please give Granny a birthday hug from me.

  26. You make me cry so bloody easily!!! Sounds like a wonderful night.

  27. Your Granny is a remarkable woman, and you and the Attorney are remarkable men. Hold onto each other. Thank you for the story.

  28. Glen Glen

    Once again, you have brought tears to my eyes!

    Please give Granny and The Attorney (and the rest of the attending party) a great big hug for me.

    I must say, knowing the era that Granny came from, for her to take his hand, that is TRUST! Be proud! He has touched her heart!

    You have found ‘that one’ you need to hang on to (and I am extremely jealous of both of you) with all you heart and soul!

  29. Pac Pac

    This was sweet on so many levels.

  30. Royster Hamlin Royster Hamlin

    there is nothing sweeter than when someone i love is lovely to someone else i love. It’s better than sex, even. Thanks for sharing that. The At-Tony is a great guy, and you’re great together. Many of us aspire to that, Tony. Let’s all try to reach it before the great age of 94 years young.

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