Tomorrow will mark what would have been Grandpa Bob’s 86th birthday.  And many might be surprised to know that his family still celebrates it every February 10th.  I know Grandpa-who was the king of practicality- is looking down on us and shaking his head as we speak…wondering why we even bother.  I know he would much rather have us spend the time and money that we will devote to his birthday doing other things.

In all honesty, when a birthday celebration was planned last year in his honor for the first time since his passing, I was a little taken aback by the concept.  I was worried that this event would only lead to sadness and tears.  Sure…both DID occur, but something unexpected took place as well.  My family and I were able to reflect on Grandpa’s life with smiles on our faces.  There were many conversations that began with “Remember when…?”.  And I realized that celebrating a loved one’s birthday after his/her passing is the ideal way to keep the loved one’s memory alive!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Grandpa loved to keep his life simple, and that included his birthdays.  His only birthday requirements were as follows:  German chocolate cake (preferably made by one of his granddaughters), his closest family members in attendance, and a 6-pack of Budweiser…fancy shmancy beers were forbidden in the Latta household!

…and keep it in the can, please!  Grandpa always found the act of pouring beer into a glass sooo unnecessary!  😉

Grandpabdy

Grandpa with two out of his three birthday essentials. 🙂

Simplicity is key when celebrating a departed loved one’s birthday.  When the event becomes over-the-top, the objective gets lost.  The fact that a loved one is no longer with us becomes heavily emphasized, and the happy memories are put on the backburner as the feelings of loss escalate.  The only important aspects of the event are to have close family members get together and reflect on positive memories surrounded by your departed loved one’s favorite birthday things.

So…tomorrow, I will toast to Grandpa with a can of Bud in my hand and warm feelings in my heart!  I think Grandpa will be ok with that!  🙂

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