It is a tradition where my parents live to have a memorial "party" when someone dies. As you all know, my mother died in May and we knew that we would be having a celebration on her birthday, November 3rd. I arrived in Florida on Sunday night, my sister got there on Monday evening and on Wednesday we helped my dad host a wonderful celebration of my mother's life. Many people use the party room and a caterer for these events, but my dad wanted to have it in their home and he wanted us to do the food. That is exactly what my mother would have done. We took a few shortcuts because it is a bit tricky to drive over 1000 miles and put together a party for about 60 people in 2 days.
We used tropical flowers on the table.
You may see a few familiar dishes on the table. I actually brought a couple things from home because I wasn't sure if my mom had anything like them. I had ironed the table runner when I was there in July and hung it in a closet. I also had pulled out the platters I thought we would need and had them all together in a cabinet so I could get to them easily.
My parent's home is all done in white. We knew that my mom was a bit "protective" of her white carpet with us, but even her friends were aware of it. Needless to say, there were a few spills and much discussion about what mom would think. When the party was slowing down, I finally filled a plate and sat down to eat something. I immediately flipped my plate upside down on the white couch. The room went quiet and then someone said, "I'm glad the daughter did it"! The chair above isn't usually sitting there...this is a pre-party photo and we had scattered the dining room chairs around the room.
My niece had made a wonderful video of my mom's life. It started with the picture of my parents you see above and had pictures of the two of them, my sister and I as babies, our weddings and our children. It was set to Moon River, my mother's favorite song. It made me miss her to watch it, but it also told the story of a very full and happy life. Who can really ask for more than that?
Before leaving for Florida, I had been struggling for a few weeks with a bad case of the blues. I didn't care that the holidays were coming, I hated my birthday and I would have been pretty happy to just crawl in bed and stay there a while. Having this party seems to have really helped me. A funeral and visitation are normal ways to get through the death of a loved one. My mother's funeral was nice and we did see people we hadn't seen in years, but we were in shock and so sad at that time. Having this gathering of her good friends 5 months after her death was truly a blessing. Many of these people I didn't know and yet I could feel the love all around for my mom and my dad. When the evening ended, I was really tired...but, I felt good. My mom would have loved it, spills and all!
I'm joining Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.
Please visit her and see the most gorgeous tables in all of Blogland!