The Mom Photo Essay Project on Instagram: Nineteen

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Mom turned 92 today. It was a much quieter day than when she turned 71.// In the lead up to her 70th, she made a point of frequently mentioning she'd never had a big birthday party, ever – gatherings, yes; but never a big party. I was 7 when mom turned 50 (they had a party for her at work); I was 17 when she turned 60 (we were not on very good terms then). I was 27 when she turned 70 (our relationship was better), so a party seemed a good idea. My (then) partner & I had already begun planning a surprise party long before mom started hinting.// In typical mom fashion, she spent most of the summer, & part of the early fall in RI, with family. She was going to come home for 2 weeks, then go to her condo in FL for the winter, so there was a limited amount of time for the party.//We arranged to cater the event, & were getting ready to send out the invitations when mom called and said that she'd decided to stay in RI, then go down to FL from there. She wouldn't be back home until March. Thankfully she'd decided early enough for us to cancel the caterer & hadn't sent invitations. But it meant no 70th party.// After she came home, she made a point of letting everyone know that her son hadn't planned a 70th party, so she didn't want to come home, hence going directly to FL.// After some thought ( & telling her that we had planned a surprise party, which was why she didn't know), we decided to try again for 71. We didn't promise a party, just extracted a promise that she'd be home around her birthday.// For 71, she had a "Turning 70 Again" party, and this is the invitation we made (remember Corel?). We ended up not having to cater the party as everyone who called to RSVP wanted to bring food.// Mom arrived at our house, expecting to go out to her favorite nice restaurant. Instead, she was greeted with a loud "Surprise!" from everyone. Some people arrived later – 98 people were at the party.// Julian & I had a party for her on her 90th, though it wasn't a surprise. Sadly, many of the people who'd been alive for the "70 Again" had passed away. Only 42 were there. #agingparents #caregiver

A post shared by John Francis Nooney (@john_francis_nooney) on

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