A dear friend threw herself a 70th birthday party, and she did it by taking us back to the 50's. A wop bom a loo bop a lomp bam boom! In addition to Elvis himself, there were soda jerks and milkshakes and hula hoops and vintage cars. Poodle skirts and bobby socks were in abundance, along with the greasers and the bad boys. The music never stopped and neither did the bop, the rock, and the stroll.
But the best thing were the guests. Making appearances were five out of six siblings, many from other states. Their kids and their kid's kids. A decades’ long best friend from out of town. Special neighbors and church family and a select few co-workers.
But here's the deal. The birthday girl told us, without apology, that this was the time and the place for all these diverse groups to gather. If not now, when? At her funeral? Nope! Not for her, she said. Let's party like rock stars (yeah! aging! what about it?!) and - as she put it - see her now, not when she's in a box.
I went to church Sunday morning and told everybody that was the best funeral I had ever attended! What a gift to celebrate someone's life while she is standing in front of you to hug and say, I love you. Thank you, my friend, for reminding us all to love each other up close and personal while we can.