The Good…The Bad…and The Ugly

A Bunch of Us!

Originally uploaded by fl0w3r.

The Good: We pulled off the greatest surprise party ever. My Mother-in-Law’s birthday was last week and about a month ago, my Sister-in-Law, Rachael, approached Mike and I about throwing a surprise party. We embraced the idea whole heartedly. You see, Mike’s Mom has kind of been the unsung hero in the family. She and my Father-in-Law raised four boys. They both did an excellent job…but I think it is harder for boys to know what to get their Mom on Mother’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, etc. They usually have a pretty clear idea what to get their Dad, but it just hasn’t been that way for their Mom. So, when Rachael and Nate brought this up…we knew this was the best idea. You see, part of the reason the boys don’t know what to get her is because she is extremely low maintenance and very giving. It just doesn’t seem like she needs or wants much. However, the one thing I know she always wants is to have her family around. She loves her boys and her grandchildren so much. Just having everyone together would mean so much.

So began the lies. My husband came up with the brilliant lie that would keep her at home. We asked her to babysit Gabe while we helped my Dad with some home improvement projects. She agreed…of course! Then, as the date neared we let my Father-in-Law in on the festivities, since we would need him to get her over to Nate and Rachael’s place. His first attempt failed, so we just didn’t know what to do. He asked her if she wanted to go out for dinner that night, but she wanted to go the night before instead. Uh-oh! I’m not sure who thought of it, but Plan-B was Nate and Rachael wanting to go out to dinner that night and to have them stop by and pick up Nate and Rach. BRILLIANT! We also had a fake party the night of her birthday, when most of her kids just showed up for a while and had cake and ice cream. Yet another BRILLIANT idea!

The Money Shot

Originally uploaded by fl0w3r.

So, they show up and this is the money shot! They round the corner into the back yard. My Father-in-Law’s face is lit up like a Christmas tree and she is just starting to choke up at the surprise. (We knew she’d cry. πŸ˜€ A good time was had by all. We got many pictures and quite a few much needed family shots. As the crowd thinned out in the evening, we all enjoyed a delicous Margerita and then we called it a night. It went so well. This is the ONLY party that I’ve ever seen Mike excited about. He kept telling me last week, how he couldn’t wait. It was a great idea and everything just worked. Thanks Nate and Rachael. Mom – I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed giving it!

Bingo Bird

Originally uploaded by fl0w3r.

The Bad:On our way home from the party, we got a call…it came through on Mike’s phone. From the conversation, I gathered that it was my Mother and something was wrong. I immediately thought of Taz-Cee, however, Taz-Cee was just fine. My Bingo bird was not. She was still at the bottom of her cage. Upon further examination, it looked like she just fell asleep in her usual perched position and just passed away. Her eyes were closed and she was still in her perched sleep position. She was a very old bird. I’m not sure how old. I’ve had her for about 12 years and she had two previous owners. The owner before me had her for about 5 years, so I’m guessing she was around 20 years or older. She showed no signs of distress, in fact she had whistled at me just that morning, the way she did every morning.

My wonderful husband immediately took on the responsibility to take care of her and bury her even though it was dark night outside. He burried her by our outside bird feeders so she could be near the birds. It was a great idea, but I have to admit, looking out there today and seeing all the birds at and around the feeder choked me up. She was an extremely good bird. She was so gentle. There wasn’t a mean bone in her body and I’ve known many mean cockatiels in my day. I’m glad that she was with me for so long and I’m especially grateful that she just fell asleep and left so peacefully. It was a very sad ending to an otherwise wonderful day.

The Ugly: Well I really don’t have anything ugly for you…but it made for a snappy title, didn’t it? πŸ˜‰



  1. Michele said,

    July 25, 2006 at 7:55 am

    πŸ˜₯ I LOVED Bingo, I am so sorry for the loss. I loved to whistle and hear the response back. I’m so sorry Jen and Mike.

  2. Cris said,

    July 25, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Bingo. 😦 She was a good bird.

    Wonderful photos!!!

  3. Firebrand said,

    July 27, 2006 at 8:20 am

    So sorry to hear about Bingo… *hugs*

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