To not want to plan a surprise party

(13 Posts)
vvviola Fri 23-Sep-16 08:23:17

My DM will be 70 next year. We have family in various parts of the world and a few have contacted me recently asking whether I am planning a surprise party for her next year so that they can organise flights etc. Which is lovely. I'm not too fond of the idea that all the organisation will fall on me, as I've a young family and work full time, but I'd be happy enough to do it. Except...

18 months ago, DM had a stroke. Completely out of the blue. She was still working (nursing) at the time, she appeared very healthy and it was a massive shock. She has recovered extremely well - other than a few physical symptoms, a little more tiredness and an occasional inability to remember names, she is back to her old self.

But from going from assuming we'd have her with us for at least another ten years, and worrying more about my Dad, I've now moved to wondering if each event is "the last".

Planning something so big over a year away just seems like tempting fate.

I'm extremely close to my DM and would love to do something nice for her, but every time I think about this I just get this awful feeling of dread.

AIBU/daft/pathetic?

ariana1 Fri 23-Sep-16 08:36:34

I also get the same feeling of doom but I can put it aside. I wouldn't like the surprise element and it's possible your DM won't want the fuss associated with a big event. I would not take on much of the organisation of an event so far ahead - if your DM would like to see them, they can arrange to come over themselves - flights and accommodation - and you could book a restaurant nearer the time to cater for whoever comes.
In that way it isn't your responsibility for their decision to come over to visit and you don't have to worry about your DM's reaction.

nancyblackett80 Fri 23-Sep-16 08:37:22

Why does it have to he a surprise? Let her be in on the planning if she actually wants a party or something more low key?

I'd hate a surprise party and know my parents would too.

Queenbean Fri 23-Sep-16 08:40:20

Oh you poor thing, I am no expert but it sounds like you've still got some residual shock from what happened - ptsd or something

Many people would hate a surprise party - why does it have to be a surprise? Could you speak to her about it and see what she wants and then go from there? A year in advance is still quite a long time to book flights also

And for you, it's actually probably a good thing that she's got the stroke out of the way - she will now be monitored and kept an eye on by doctors and so will know if anything is likely to go wrong in the future

flowers for you, what a horrible scare that must have been

flashheartscanoe Fri 23-Sep-16 08:43:49

I agree, you should just ask her what she would like to do. It's lovely when someone else takes charge a bit so maybe offer to help her plan it. If she has been unwell it might be just the thing to focus on. My friend and I had many happy hours planning my 40th when I was recovering from cancer.

Dinah85 Fri 23-Sep-16 10:15:14

Are there other health issues other than the stroke? My grandma had her first stroke at 66, and passed away a couple of years ago at 78, she did have several smaller strokes (TIAs) in that time, but no other major episode until the one that took her, so there is no reason to think she hasn't got a good few years. Especially now the doctors are aware of the issues I'm sure they have her medicated to reduce the risk, monitoring her blood pressure and so on.

I would think her illness is more of a reason to do it, the happiest times of my life are the days when all my friends and family have been together, such as our wedding, children's christenings, my grandads 80th, that sort of thing. It might be something she would really look forward to if she knew in advance, personally I'd rather know as I'd love the anticipation.

Wrinklytights Fri 23-Sep-16 10:21:01

I would let her know that family are interested in coming to see her and ask if she'd like a party, then you can help her organise, but it doesn't need to all fall on you. I would hate a surprise party and so would lots of others I know

blueturtle6 Fri 23-Sep-16 10:21:29

As an aside, my gran had a stroke at 70, and lived to 92. Your DM maybe around for a good while yet.
Ask if she want's a party, but it doesn't have to be a surprise. Maybe a weekend away with relatives?

TathitiPete Fri 23-Sep-16 10:35:29

Hope your mum is doing well op, flowers

And flowers for you too because this is obviously stressful for you too.

I think the idea of telling your DM is a good one. If she doesn't want a party then it can be shelved. If she does then she can have a say in the planning of it and also, she can know for the next year that all her relatives care enough to be part of this big party for her.

Maybe pretend to everyone else that it is going to be a surprise party, you and your mum have the added fun of being in on the secret.

dillyduck Fri 23-Sep-16 10:48:49

She is 70 and has a husband. If they want a party then I am sure that they will plan one.

Ask her what she is planning on doing if anything.

A surprise party would be my idea of hell on earth.

LavenderRains Fri 23-Sep-16 11:11:03

I felt exactly the same with regards to my dads 70th as he had cancer.
But he wanted a party so we organised a family get together with cake etc and he loved it as it was on his terms.
Speak to your mum and see what she wants. I can understand why you don't want to do a surprise flowers

vvviola Fri 23-Sep-16 11:46:28

Yes Dilly, but her husband is my DDad and I know well that a party would only occur to him about a week before, not leaving anyone able to arrange to be there.

And, as I said, family have been talking to me about it. I'm the only one of their children to live locally, and it is being assumed that of any organising is to be done, I will do it.

A surprise party is also my ideal of hell smile. But DM is an extrovert and loves parties, so it wouldn't necessarily be her idea of hell.

Maybe I'll sound my Dad out and see what he has to say. It just all really feels like planning too far in advance.

vvviola Fri 23-Sep-16 11:48:24

Thanks everyone for all the reassurance re people who had strokes and then lived a long time. flowers I think I'm still a bit shaken by the original event - particularly as she was so young and active at the time. I think we came very close to losing her, so it's reshaped the way I think about her.

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