1) ryan was my hero the night of mom's 70th birthday party. after checking with the dj to see if he had the proper equipment to set up the slideshow that i've spent weeks working on, it turns out that he didn't. ry drove around looking for an electronics store and came back 45 minutes later with the cable. he set it up in another room to test it - it came out just fine. once it was time to present it to 200 guests, the connection wasn't being made. james, ry, the dj and myself are all flustered...then ry breaks out with another cable and it magically works. ry, my hero.
2) although we only meet a few times a year, the tallud girls always do a great job at showing up for monumental occasions. regina, roseanne, raquel and rosalie have grown up to be beautiful, intelligent and responsible young ladies. i'm very proud to have them for my cousins.
3) it's been nearly ten years since we've seen the magno family. we've recently reconnected with ronnie and nina on facebook. they have always been a family that holds great wisdom, humor and sincerity. i remember when mom had her surgery when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, she was down about dad not contacting anyone from chs to visit. surprisingly, i had still remembered the magnos' number and talked to auntie doris and uncle rene. without hesitation, they took down the hospital name and room number and rushed out to see her, spreading the word to some of mom's closest friends. i will forever be thankful for their support.
4) after all the mumbling and grumbling about actively participating during mom's birthday bash (and not just slamming down drinks at the bar), we all took on our parts to make it one of the best nights of mom and dad's lives. dennis was great about taking pictures throughout the whole evening. he even printed them out the next day so mom could hand them to her guests that came to brunch the following day. he took the responsibility with an amazing attitude and a smile all night which i think carried over to all of us to play our roles.
5) while putting together mom's slideshow, i realized that i didn't have any pictures of mom with her sisters. i kept thinking what a shame that was, seeing how many pictures i have with my lovely sisters. i'm glad this picture was taken. auntie ina and auntie aning have been a big part of my family's life.
6) i don't think the night would have ran so smoothly had it not have been for noralie and her family. being the eldest of the children, she has naturally accepted being our "spokeswoman" and does it rather well if i may add. from ordering exquisite leis for all of the family members to purchasing shell necklaces for all the guests, she put in more than 100% to make this event a success.
7) veronna's speech to mom will forever be one of my fondest memories of my mother. she shared how supportive and nurturing mom was during her break-up with her college boyfriend. mom actually drove up to ucsd, stayed in her dorm and attended her classes with her while taking notes of the lecture. such a heartfelt moment.
8) i wish everyone in the family was in this picture, but it was still so great to pose with the hawaiians (lannon family).
9) after months of planning this party, bickering amongst mom, dad and the family about details of the dinner, squabbles about the financial aspects of the occasion, we pulled it off. mom and dad truly looked happy and calm during the party.
10) i'm a fairly private person when it comes to my emotions and thoughts. i wasn't prepared to deliver a speech - not even utter a few words about my mother to 200 people. i don't even think i would have been comfortable enough discussing my feelings in front of my family. i feel like since i do not have children of my own, it's hard for me to express what a mother is or should be, but do know that i have a mother who is everything a mother should strive to be. i don't have the typical childhood memories of a mother walking me to school or helping me with my homework. with mom being in her late 40s, that's what my older sisters were for! but despite, she didn't rob me of my childhood. i remember her playing silly counting games with me and cindy on the stairs. or entertaining the idea of "working" in her office. or giving me the change from the grocery store after i helped her save "so much money" from clipping coupons. or watching her and being so intrigued as she put on her marykay lipstick. or talking to her so openly about my many heartaches. i may not have children of my own, and may never have children, but i've been working with children for half of my life, and happen to love it with all my heart. and i am certain that my mom has something if not everything to do with that.