Thursday, April 19, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter Q - Quietly

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  


Ross and I have been married for almost 17 years.  I have children from a previous marriage.  Ross never had children of his own.  
He is a retired high school math teacher.   So in essence, he gave birth to around 80 children each and every September.   He was well liked and during his 30 plus years of teaching, I know he provided much more than just math skills to his “children”.
Ross grew up with the experience of a large family.  
In his immediate family there was his mother, father and two sisters, Joan and Myra.  His extended family consisted of many aunts, uncles and cousins.   Ross’s mother was a gregarious and welcoming host.   He has many fond memories of a house filled with Sunday and holiday guests. 
As what typically happens, circumstances cause families to grow apart either by changes of location, expansion and development of their own family units and life’s circumstances.
Myra sadly passed away a few years ago.  Joan lives 500 miles away.   Neither Joan or Myra had children. 
Last Saturday we celebrated Ross’s 75th birthday.   We had a gathering at a local pub called “The Plumstead Grill”  We were a party of 16.    
The Plumstead is a unique place.   It appeals to a wide range of  patrons, from families with children to biker dudes and dudettes. 
This particular Saturday happened to be the first nice day we New Jersians have had in months. 
The restaurant parking lot was filled with pickup trucks and shiny Harley Davidson’s, as well as Toyota Camrys, Hondas CRV’s and BMW’s.
Ross and I got to the restaurant a little earlier than the designated 1:00 p.m. time.  Fortunately we had reserved the private room to make sure we could, well have a little privacy.   
The restaurant was packed and noisy.   As
we made our way to the room, elbowing our way through the bar area, big guys with long beards and muscle shirts comically threw out comments referring to the large birthday cake Ross was carrying.
The room had a long table set for 16.  The guests included my children and grandchildren, my sister and her husband, my brother and his wife and my aunt Dolores.
Ross sat at the head of the table.  I sat all the way at the other end.
As usual, when we get together there is a lot of talking, interrupting, teasing and laughter.
We were almost as noisy and lively as the group beyond the closed doors of our room.
After we finished our meal, the waitress brought out the cake with lighted candles.  We sang Happy Birthday and I as I watched Ross, he seemed to be contemplatively pleased.
After he blew out the candles, we began to chant “Speech, speech, speech!”
Now, I must tell you, Ross is never at a loss for words.   We all turned to him and a hush came over the room as we intently waited for him to speak.  But no words came.
At that moment I felt as though he and I were the only ones in the room.  I watched him closely, silently encouraging him with my eyes.
Finally, with an emotionally filled voice he quietly whispered,  “You are my family.”


  1. Heart rendering story ... family is truly the ones there holding our hands through the journey of life. I loved the way you've described the birthday celebration and that moment you felt one with Ross. Its so beautiful.
    Will be back to read more.

    Would love it if you could check out my #AtoZ post on q:

    1. Thank you! Sometimes it takes a moment to remember to appreciate our families. Thanks for visiting. I will be over to yours.

  2. Hari OM
    Those quiet moments are the ones which stick in memory, over and above all the noise of the rest! Happy Belated Birthday Wishes to Ross from over here in the Bonny Land! YAM xx

    1. Thank you from Ross for the Birthday wishes! Sometimes when I am at a noisy gathering, I step out of it, so to speak, to become a quiet observer.

  3. Happy Birthday to Ross! I too belong to a family that is made of previous families. It makes for a huge family and while we don't always get along, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I also love the description of the venue. There's a place in Western Maryland called The Black Hog which is very similar.

    1. Thank you! I imagine that a great percentage of families are expanded ones. It can be tricky sometimes, but mostly it works. If I’m ever in Western Maryland, I’ll have to check out “The Black Hog”!

  4. Beautifully told...perfect ending!

    Donna B McNicol, author & traveler
    Romance & Mystery...writing my life
    A-Z Flash Fiction Tales:
    A-Z of Goldendoodles:

  5. What a wonderful birthday celebration and a wonderful tribute to your family!

    1. Yes, it was a special day and to be a treasured memory.

  6. What a sweet story. Families are so interesting to me; what they’re like, the choices people make, it’s all fascinating. Happy belated Ross! I wish I could have been there.