My Great-Grandma's 99th Birthday!

We’re celebrating my great-grandma’s 99th birthday today. She lives here in Flint, in an assisted-living facility. She’s still got her mental faculties, but needs some help physically.

She’s wonderful. And boy, does she love her family. She only had one child herself. But from that one child came a virtual empire. My grandmother had six kids. She and my grandfather divorced when my mom was about 16. Then my grandmother remarried a widower with five kids.

My mom, the oldest of those kids, had her first child 36 years ago–my older sister Karen. My uncle Jon (my grandmother’s youngest–younger than me by two weeks, in fact) and his wife just had their first child about four weeks ago. Quite a span, eh?

Ten of those eleven kids are married with children (the one that isn’t, my uncle Patrick, is mentally retarded & lives in a group home). And the grandkids are having kids now. Oh yeah. My own mother has seven grandchildren herself!

So this one remarkable woman, my great-grandmother Ardis Wilcox, brought forth one of the most amazing families ever. I love my family. All of them. And my great-grandma loves us all equally.

Even the ones like my sister, and me. The ones that were born out-of-wedlock, at a time when that was shameful and a disgrace to the family. To my great-grandmother, we were never her “illegitimate” grandchildren. Just grandchildren.

There was a period of time back in 1988 when I didn’t see my great-grandmother for several months. I was pregnant with my oldest child, and didn’t want to tell her or my great-grandfather (who was still living at the time). I was afraid I’d break her heart. Well, four days after my daughter was born, my great-grandfather died. I had to see my great-grandma.

We sat and chatted. I didn’t look pregnant, so I thought I could get by without saying anything (although I was still in an awful lot of pain). My great-grandma asked me why I hadn’t been around for so long. And I snapped. I told her everything. She just smiled and patted my hand, and said “I’m sure you did what was best for you and the baby, honey. Don’t worry. Everything will be okay. And don’t ever stay away from me for that long again, young lady, for any reason, or I’ll sic your mother and grandmother on you!”

I’ve always loved my great-grandma, but that just gave me an entirely new respect for her. To not only know someone like that, but be related to her, a direct descendant, my goodness, how lucky can one get?

Happy Birthday, Grandma. I love you.

What a woman! Congratulations on being one of the few people who recognize the value of their older family members before it’s too late. And happy birthday to your great grandmother.

I was lucky enough to have three of my great grandmothers until I was 27. They were all wonderful women who saw an entire lifetime of change and took it all in stride, adjusting more easily than many of us would have.

My grandmas never told me boring stories like the stereotype I see so often. So I wonder if the stereotype is incorrect, or if my grandparents just had great stories!


Congratulations to your great-grandmother, Cristi. All of my grandparents are gone now, so I don’t get the benefit of hearing them anymore. And I do miss it. Treasure their prescence as long as you can.

Congratulations to your great-grandmother! Your family sounds lucky to have a woman like her as matriarch, if I may use that word. I still have both my grandmothers, but my father’s mother lives in Taiwan (so I haven’t seen her since I was one, maybe), and my mother’s mother lives here, but her health isn’t that good. Yes, I realize I should treasure the time I have with my grandmother, and I do. (most of my great-grandmothers died before I was born) So once again, congratulations!

{{{Ms. Wilcox}}}

Happy, happy birthday. And many more!!

99 Candles:
:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Congratulations on your grandma’s birthday! I’d bake her a cake if she was anywhere near!!!
My grandma is 97 now, also just moved in January to assisted living. Today was the third and last day of the sale of her household effects. I’m a bit bummed. But we grandkids got to buy first, so I got her beloved rocker/recliner. She’s my last grandparent, I love her more than I do myself, and I will miss her desperately. But she is the last of her generation, no more siblings or in-laws, and Grandpa has been gone for twenty years.

Does your great-grandma like chocolate cake? I can blow out the candles virtually for her!

Happiest birthday wishes to your great-grandmother, Persephone.

Thanks, everyone!

I forgot to mention that the party today was a surprise party. Grandma’s not really in to being the center of attention, but I’ll tell you what–she loved this. We didn’t exactly jump out from behind furniture or anything, though. We just all gathered in the community room at the facility, and then my aunt went & got my grandma from her room. My aunt told my grandma that she was there to visit for her birthday, and had a small cake & stuff down in the community room. Just didn’t tell her that all the rest of us were there, too. The look on my grandma’s face was priceless. Just priceless. She was thrilled. And she really
didn’t have any idea that anything was going to happen.

My mom made this really cool family tree thing on the computer, along with a really, REALLY cool timeline of historical stuff that’s happened since my grandmother’s birth. My mom also had copies made of the family tree, and we all got one. My aunt made magnets & key rings with my grandma’s picture on them, and we all got those, too. The minister from my grandma’s church came by, and said a blessing. There was a pinata for the little kids, & cake & ice cream (my sister-in-law’s mother made the cake, and it was beautiful). Then my uncle Jimmy, a professional photographer, gathered us all together for a family photo. I can’t wait to see that one! It’s going to be great.

And as I was leaving there this afternoon, my grandma said “you know, I think that this day has been the best day of my life.” My mom, who organized this whole thing, started to cry. That was one hell of a compliment, coming from a woman who has been around for 99 years.

I sure hope she makes it to 100. This party was great, but man, i she’s around next year…what a bash we’ll have! :smiley:

And here’s to 99 more years!

Happy birthday, Ardis.

And congratulations, Cristi, on having such a magnificent family, not the least of which is magnificent you!

That is just absolutely amazing!

Think of all the incredible and historical things she has lived through.

She sounds like an amazing woman, Cristi!

If my grandma were alive she would be 112 this June. I really wish she were. Just to be able to talk to her again, now with me as an adult, instead of a young kid trapped in an overheated old persons apartment.
My BIL’s grandfather just turned 99. He’s quite a very nice old gentleman. Even though I am not related to Grandpa Bowman, he remembers who I am ( not necessarily my name ) and knows who my kids are ( referring to my daughter as a “good looking fella”) I always joke with him about " So, was Abe Lincoln your classmate?"

I love old people. They are so cute.