Granny Thelma set the tone for the first day of her 95th year on this bold and beautiful earth by sashaying into her birthday party, throwing her arm into the air and announcing, “I’m here!”
The lady knows how to make an entrance!
She also knows how to live. Thelma loves universally and mothers with the kind of firm but gentle discipline that lets everyone know that she sees them, she cares about them, and she understands who they are, so they had better behave themselves.
“My mother has been a mother to many people,” Thelma’s daughter Shara said during a tender and hilarious toast. “But I’m her only daughter and sometimes I didn’t want to see her helping all those other people. But, she’d say, ‘Baby, there’s enough of me to love them all.’’
Thelma’s love rippled through her Hawaiian-themed party (because ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind). It bubbled over like the Bartesian Cocktail Machine set up on a Tiki Bar and churning out fancy drinks.
“She has instilled so much in all of us and she is just full of love,” Thelma’s granddaughter Trenette, who hosted the party, said.
Everyone came toThelma’s party — her pastor, her fishing partner, the sister of her grandson’s father’s wife — and everyone found a place in her comfortable orbit.
Styled by her great-granddaughter in a way that says “You’re a queen and you always will be,” Granny Thelma sipped her drink from a coconut cup and worked the room, which was actually a yard because one room could never contain all of the people who love her and want to join in the par-tay.
Frankly, one city would not be enough to contain all the people who love, because they have been loved by, Granny Thelma.
She beamed like the Luxor Light, a beacon she knows very well because she celebrated her 90th birthday on the Las Vegas Strip. She hugged every living creature with impressive strength. She reminisced about her days in the gospel choir, fed a tiny baby, made sure everyone’s plate stayed full and wondered whether the crappies were biting on Green Lake.
Fishing remains one of Grandma Thelma’s passions, and she still gets out several times a week.
We should all celebrate life and define family and sashay into parties the way Granny Thelma does.