Now I don’t know which is the more amazing, that 80 people would come or that 80 people could keep it a secret. But I want to take this time, this week, to say thank you to so many people.
First, to my wonderful parents, not only because without them there wouldn’t even have been a need for a party, but also because of their unconditional love and the Christian values and work ethic they instilled in each one of us.
Next (and it is a HUGE next), to my sister and brother-in-law who planned, organized, and covered the expenses for the entire event. They never cease to amaze me. My sister is so creative and organized, and they are both so generous.
To my dear friend (and co-conspirator) who traveled back from England to surprise me and spent her week here working on her part of the surprise as well make the family time on Sunday so special by working through almost all of it.
To my brother and sister-in-law and niece, who first got up at 3 am and then sat on the tarmac in Denver for two hours as their plane was de-iced in the freak spring blizzard, made it 5 minutes before I arrived, and then had to turn around and fly back the next day.
To my other nieces, (and one nephew-in-law) who juggled work schedules so that they could fly in from Utah and Colorado.
An incredible shout-out to my cousin and his wife who flew out from Australia! Wow! Every cousin from that family made it. One from Idaho with his daughter, one from Torrence who (with her husband) made the 12 hour drive one day, came to the party the next day, then had to make the 12 hour drive back the following day. Finally, my cousin from Loma Linda came and brought my wonderful aunt up from Banning.
Then thank you to my aunt and uncle from Camarillo and all of the Solinski family from Vacaville and San Jose. Their presence meant so much.
Finally, (but by no means the least) were all of my friends who could make it––high school and college friends, colleagues––past and present, Bible study sisters, golf buddies, wine club members, former students, and others from various walks of life. Again, they came from all over California and as far as Washington State.
Half of the crowd came from miles away and the other half were those who support and love me day-to-day right here in Redding, which is a major task, and to see them come and continue to be there for me was deeply moving––especially since I irritate and annoy them on a more regular basis than the others.
And a final thank you to all of those who couldn’t make it but sent their best wishes. It meant a lot that you remembered me.
Thank you all.
“For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations.” (Ps. 100:5)
A hearty AMEN to that!