100 Years Young

Every family has their annual traditions and mine is no different. Every year for as long as I’ve been alive, Thanksgiving has been the time when my family reunites for a day of feasting, drinking and the celebration of my grandfather’s (nicknamed, Wo-dad) birthday.

This year, however, is particularly special. 100 years ago today, my grandfather was born. Today, there are three sons and over a dozen grandchildren who are thankful for it.
It wasn’t in my original plan to return to the U.S. for Thanksgiving, but I am very pleased with my last minute decision. The short 5-day hiatus from traveling was well worth it. On Thanksgiving, our family of 22 sat around the table, enjoying an atypical Turkey Day meal of paella and filet.
On Black Friday, my father and I went into downtown Chicago to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art and stroll down the Magnificent Mile. On Saturday, old family friends arrived for the celebration of Wo-dad’s 100th year. It was incredibly moving to hear him speak (with his sense of humor still intact), as he invited all of us to his funeral. But all jokes aside, I know he was touched to see the family he had created, even if only for a moments recognition.
That may be the last time I see him. Then again, I’ve been saying that for awhile and he keeps surprising. I wonder what President Obama will do for his 101st. 
Happy 100th Birthday, Grandpa! May we all be fortunate to live in health for as long as you have.