89th Birthday Celebration

On Sunday my Pop-Pop turned 89. We celebrated with a small family dinner at my parents house. 

He is the center of our family. Every important event I can remember from my childhood, he was there. When I think of the type of person I want to be as I continue to grow, I can think of no better role model than my Pop-Pop. 

He’s a friend to everyone he meets, treating strangers like family. He has worked hard for his whole life. He states that if only his vision would be better he’d still be working every day. He puts family first and has never wavered his faith and he has filled his life with love.

Somedays I feel like they don’t make people like Pop-Pop anymore. 

He does awesome for 89 years! He loves running errands with my mom, going out to dinner, taking long walks, and going on vacation. He joined us in Jamaica this year and is hoping to go on a Panama Canal cruise next year. 

Last year he got a kick out of the video interview of him I put up on this blog. He’s always laughing that we need to stop putting him on Facebook! When he goes to events or parties or church people always tell him they see updates about him on Facebook that my mom or I post. He keeps up with us pretty well, even toasting his birthday with a shot of Tuaca!

On Sunday evening we gathered in my parents sun room, a place where so many celebrations over the years have occurred. My mom presented him with his favorite cake, a chocolate sugary concoction made with mayo (don’t knock it til you try it!) and a to die for peanut butter icing.

This is the same cake my mom’s mother used to make. He blew out his candles with a smile of a child. 

Pop-Pop always has the best stories. Even though I may hear the same stories over and over, they never get old. They are filled with friends and family, sadly many passed, and always end with him laughing.

So, I asked Pop-Pop what he’s learned in his 89 years. His response was simple: “Well, Katie, I’ve had a lot of great years, a few hard times, but I’ve had some great years.”

I think we can all learn from that perspective. Life is never always going to be all good. But as long as you see the good more than the bad, you’re going to have a pretty grand life. Soon the bad will be events you can barely fit in your memory because your laughter and smiles of the good times will take up too much room. 

Hold on and celebrate the good. Have faith in your heart and the kindness of others. Continue living that good life, so when you’re 89 years old you can  fill the room with stories of a well lived life. 

  • Pat (Mom)

    Pop-Pop is a very special person. Thanks for featuring him and honoring him in your blog. I just read it to him and he cried while telling me how wonderful YOU are Katie.

  • Thank so much for sharing…

  • sue mikolajczyk

    🙂 !

  • Ah happy birthday to your Pop! He has such a nice face! 🙂

  • this is so very very sweet!!!! i love that photo of the two of you. made me think of my own papa and aren’t we lucky to have such great grandfathers! i also want to eat that whole cake 🙂

  • What a great birthday celebration! He sounds like such a sweet man!