So this weekend I flew all the way across the continent to join the rest of my family in celebrating my mother's mother's 90th birthday. It was a long day of travel - pretty much 24 hours worth - but you can't miss a 90th birthday.
My grandmother, I call her Oma, is a pretty amazing woman and the fact that she has made it to 90 and is the only one of her generation of her family to do so is quite remarkable. She is a survivor against incredible odds being as she was a German speaking Mennonite in a Jewish village in the Ukraine, Russia in 1919. Between the Russian revolution and the second world war she lost everything she had including most of her family - she was always on the wrong side simply by birthright. But she was clever and cunning and she survived and came to Canada as a refugee. At 89 she finally became a Canadian citizen after living there more then 50 years.
However, the exact details of her life are a bit of a mystery as my sister and I found out when we tried to make party favors using an old photo of her. We wanted to add some details to the photo card - where she was born, when she was married, when she came to Canada. This proved much more difficult then we anticipated and of great dispute among family members. We couldn't even pin down the age she was when the photograph was taken. At the birthday she told my mother she was 35, me she was 15, and my sister she was 25.
It was a lovely party - I think she enjoyed it. It was a lovely moment to spend with my family, to see them all there, to all pitch in and create this gift for her. And then I flew all the way back across the continent, picked up the Disreputables, then drove 4 hours in a blizzard to arrive home sometime after 1:30am last night. As a result I'm a bit bleary eyed today. Not to mention the fact that I spent the weekend in a time zone four hours different then my own.