This weeks' episode marked two firsts: my husband's first speaking engagement and our son's first birthday. The first occurrence of any event is the most memorable because it leaves an indelible mark in our memories and sets the precedence for similar events to follow. I was very proud of my husband's courage in speaking about his past and extremely excited to celebrate our son's first birthday! Most people have their favorite occasion or holiday; for me, it’s birthdays because they are a personal holiday celebrating one's entrance into life. We certainly cannot predict the arrival of our last birthday, but we can surely and grandly celebrate each birthday as we are blessed to see them. I wanted our son's first birthday to be a memorable occasion which would set the tone for each birthday to come.
As I began to ponder how we would celebrate Ayden's joyous arrival, I thought about all the things he loves -- swimming, ice cream, snow cones, sailboats, barbeque, and, of course, cake. My family is very close-knit and always enjoys a great gathering, so I certainly wanted to be sure to make this a memorable family occasion. The only location I considered was the water park conceptualized by and named in memory of my dear aunt, Frances Meadows. My aunt Frances was the first woman, and first person of color, elected to city government in Gainesville, Georgia. Her political platform was family based. The Frances Meadows Aquatic Center is a concept she fought for in order to facilitate positive family interaction. Unfortunately, she lost her battle with cancer before the park was completed. While her most championed cause of the water park and athletic facility for families did not come to fruition until after her death, the city thought it only befitting to name the aquatic center in her honor.