We were already having Christmas at my brother's house this year with all but four of our family joining us in Orlando.
About a month ago my husband mentioned that my brother, Chris was turning sixty this year. His birthday is December 27 so pretty much gets screwed every birthday and usually receives a held back Christmas present, usually wrapped in Santa Claus paper.
Chris has totally taken over the role of pseudo father after our own Diddy died in 2002. He's taken excellent care of his two needy sisters and even taken care of our sometimes needy kids. He let my husband stay with him (rent free) for almost a year when Tim got transferred to Orlando long before I joined. He even took my husband's brother in for a time when he needed it.
If there's one thing I can say about my brother which no sane person could possibly deny is:
Chris Leach is a stand up guy.
Tim said we should throw Chris a surprise party while the family was still here from Georgia.
Massey (my free secretary) set up a private event, blocking only Chris from seeing on Facebook and included every person we could think of.
We planned the surprise attack, for the day before his birthday.
Tim told Chris he wanted to take him out to play golf as part of his Christmas present the day after Christmas and included my nehew and brother in law.
Of course being needy sisters we are, went the cheap route and bought hot dogs, buns and chips. Cindy made some side dishes and I did as well. We'd asked others to just bring a side dish or some beer or wine.
Massey and I went over a couple of hours before and we all decorated his house, complete with streamers, balloons and strung lights around his back porch and back of the house.
We hung a Happy Birthday banner on his front gate to see when he pulled in the drive from golfing and greeted him saying we'd all decided to give him a small family party while we were all still there.
The first car pulled in ten minutes later. A work friend of Chris' along with his wife and daughters. They simply acted like they had just dropped by to say hello.
Chris, always the ultimate host took them all out for a ride in his boat on the lake.
When they got back, three other friends had suddenly decided to drop by to visit.
Then another friend of his happened to show up but by that time, Chris knew.
A few more friends showed up, then the bomb dropped when this crazy guy walked in the door after driving seven hours just to attend.
More friends arrived and is best described as "One liquored up event."
Massey and I Ubered back to our house a little before eleven. Tim stayed and slept in a chair. And yes there is a picture of that floating around the Internet as well.
The Birthday Boy seemed to have a good time too.
I can only think of two people who deserve this kind of party. One is my brother and one is my sister.
If not for them, would've never made it this far in my life.
And that's a fact.
I can only think of one person luckier.
Sounds like a soap opera, but's our true story. Our momma collapsed and died in under thirty seconds from a brain aneurysm while out school shopping with Cindy and me in 1977. Diddy died from West Nile virus in less than ten days in 2002.
We went from this...
Then somehow ended up like this.
A tangled web of love.
Love is all you need.
I've had more than my fair share.
They love me because I'm their sister.
I laugh because there's nothing they can do about it.
Til next time and a next year...COTTON