July 22, 1999.
My father turned thirty years old. He was coming back from a business trip and my mother had planned a surprise party for him. My mother was twenty six and stunning. Like most women of the nineties she found herself a fan of the Jimmy Buffet/Tommy Bahama islander look. She had long blond hair and tan skin. She worn a thin white tunic with some blue jeans. She has never been the type to wear a lot of make up so her skin was lightened with a little powder and plumb colored blush. Light blue eyes brighten her face and she scurries around the house making sure everyone is in their place.
The car pulls up. We hear my Grandpa and Dad coming around the back. You hear my Grandpa bitching about the garage door being jammed and they have to go through the backyard door. They come around the corner and we all shout the classic "SURPRISE".
My father the strongest, bravest, gladiator of a man I know is moved to tears as his family and friends congratulate him on the accomplishment. Knowing more about my father's history it is a accomplishment he made it all the way to thirty. His eyes scan the yard for my mother who waits until he has said the "hi, how are yous" and "thanks for coming out's". Then he hugs her and looks at her lovingly knowing that she gets stressed when putting these things together. I am sitting on my aunt's lap and get up quickly to say hi. My hair naturally a golden blond and unlike my mothers my eye's are dark and stubborn. I greet my father with Happy Birthday. He picks me up and kisses me and looks around for my younger sisters. We all sit outside for the rest of the evening until it get's dark and people start to fade away.
I remember being a little girl afraid for evenings like these to end. Afraid that moments like those would never happen again. I'm still afraid of that as a adult woman. The only difference now is I am no longer naturally blond.