Last month, a friend of mine showed me a Facebook post; a conversation between two girls that I used to be extremely close with. It is not relevant why we are not friends anymore and frankly, I do not even know the reason. I guess they woke up one morning and decided they did not like me. Such is life. At any rate, the conversation between them was actually about me. They were making fun of some pictures that I had posted on Facebook from a party I had last month. I adopted my eighteen year old stepson in October and we celebrated by taking pictures of him (at 6 feet, 3 inches tall) in an adult onesie and then threw a “sip n see” party for our friends and family which resulted in almost 100 people crammed into our house decorated with “its a boy” paraphernalia. Was it silly? Yes! Was it a bit much? Perhaps it was a bit much for boring people. Was it a day and an event worth celebrating? You bet your ass it was!
I am someone that celebrates the small stuff and celebrates the big stuff even more. I am someone who celebrates my dog’s birthday with puppy parties, someone who celebrates a new job, a new house, any new opportunity and I even celebrate moving on from things I never thought I needed to move on from. I celebrate my friends and their accomplishments any chance I get. I believe in taking trips to celebrate anything and everything and I believe in being silly and celebrating the silliness. I love a costume party but mostly I love any reason to get my friends and family together. I celebrate marriage and milestones for a living for goodness sake. My point is, seeing the petty mocking of others did not make me mad, it made me sad that everyone is not like me. I am sad that some people either have nothing to celebrate, no one to celebrate with, or they just do not see the point in celebrating.
This week, one of my best friends in the world lost her father. He was someone that celebrated everything! Her whole family is known for celebrating something as small as returning home from school. And by school, I don’t mean college. I mean just a regular day in third grade. They sing and they dance and they turn everything into the biggest event. They are literally a living musical and their father was the director, writer, producer and lead actor. He is survived by his amazing wife/ co-conspirator, co-writer, co-director, co-creator of said musical and five supporting actor children who happened to pick spouses that would also share the stage every single day and raise each of their children to share that same theatrical way of life.
This family sat together beside their father and celebrated him in memories, cocktails, stories, laughter, prayer and song as he took his last breathes. All the while knowing that, even in the times that he could not show it, he was celebrating with them because this is the family he created to celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly. Together through it all we will sing, we will dance and we will celebrate. That is what I think of in my head when I think of this family. And that is what they should think of when they think of their father.
I learned from the Argus family that fourth of July is to be celebrated with relay races and fireworks at the Bay. I learned that the Oscars are to be viewed in the proper attire with the proper spread of cocktails and commentary. I learned that Mardi Gras is for open houses and dance parties on St. Charles Avenue. I learned that everyone is welcome and friends are family. I learned that everything is a chance to make a memory and I learned that the worst case scenario (a hurricane in the middle of your outdoor wedding) can turn into the best and happiest event of a lifetime. I learned that you cherish any opportunity to gather your loved ones and celebrate and I will pass along the art of throwing parties and celebrating small victories any chance I get. And for those that troll Facebook looking for said celebrations to make fun of, I hope I give you a ton of material!
Thank you, Tucky Argus and Bill Argus, for your daughter(s) and your family that has taught me the joy of celebrating life, love and everything amazing among a world that can sometimes be overwhelmingly heart breaking. May we continue to sing, keep that banjo playing and draw out our thoughts and memories together (quite literally) for the rest of our days. Cheers to you, Pop!