You send out invitations, you order food, you do your best and then you hope beyond hope that everything falls into place. Today we celebrated my father’s 80th birthday and everything fell into place. He was surprised, everyone was in terrific spirits, and the food was good and plentiful (no small thing in the world of Italian-Americans).

At a time when my siblings and I are acutely aware that we are blessed to still have both our parents with us, it was an especially meaningful time.

I am exhausted and grateful.