Yesterday my younger sister, Ashlie, turned 40. Whoa--that's mind boggling to have my younger sister reach 40. Now we are both "over the hill."
A sister in the ward and I both decided to throw my sister a surprise birthday luncheon at the church. I enticed the Primary President to join me in my web of deceit and had her ask Ashlie to come to the church for a Primary Presidency meeting. Ashlie wasn't thrilled with the idea of a meeting on her birthday, but she's always willing to do her calling, even when it's on her birthday. Of course, Ashlie told me all about the meeting that was planned and I just bit my tongue. It was extremely hard not to spoil the surprise when I talk to her every day on the phone and we see each other several times a week (we live across the highway from each other).
I also roped her husband into our plan. But, I didn't tell any of my children or hers (we each have 10) just in case one of them accidentally blabbed.
At the church, we decorated the nursery with black balloons and streamers. We asked everyone to wear all black. I brought a rocking chair, a lap blanket (when you're old, you get cold, right? At least that's how it is in our Relief Society), and a crown for her to wear.
When she opened the door to the nursery, believing she was attending a meeting, and realized she'd been duped, she about fell over. It was great. The look on her face guaranteed she had absolutely no idea about the party, which made it that much more fun.
We had a great time. She opened gag gifts and we ate until we popped. I made her a chocolate cake with chocolate pudding as frosting, crumbled Oreos on it, and stuck sections of graham crackers in as headstones. At the bottom I wrote, "40? One foot in the GRAVE." I thought I was pretty funny, if I do say so myself.
Since the party, I've thought about how 40 marks the time we're "over the hill." What hill? If I'm supposed to be over it, how come it still feels like I'm climbing, full steam ahead, up a steep, unrelenting hill?
My paternal grandmother, who's 92, claims that 60 is the new 40 because of longevity and better quality of life. If that's so, then I'm still in my twenties and it would make sense that I haven't started down that "hill" yet. But does the "hill" have to keep getting steeper?