Nor was I expecting to. After all, it had been nine years since my mother's last birthday party, when she invited 200 of her closest friends - I'm serious - to a big bash we threw for her in the Seaford fire station hall.
But now she was nine years older and, really, how many people would want or could even handle a big party for their 99th birthday?
As it turned out, at least one.
I'm not sure how my sister-in-law, devoted daughter-in-law that she is, managed - after scrapping the nice birthday dinner idea - to whisk together the planning and details, but one week before her birthday I learned from my mother that there was to be not one, but two parties in honor of her 99th birthday: One for her friends to be held in Our Lady of Lourdes church hall on the morning of her birthday after mass, which my mother attends daily;
...and one for her family to be held in the evening at the Stargate Diner in Seaford, where my mom is a regular,
...and a favorite of the friendly family that owns and operates the restaurant.
Tom and I had just made the 10-hour drive from Columbus to Seaford three weeks earlier.
But how do you deny your 99-year-old mother when she asks you to come for her birthday?
So on Friday, June 21, Tom and I were on the road again to Seaford, Delaware.
When we arrived my mother was, as always, so glad to see us and, as always, she looked wonderful,
At one point I reminded her that it was her 99th birthday.
"Oh, well," she replied, "I figure this one will be as close to 100 as I'll get, so I'm calling it my 100th."
Fair enough, thought I.
On the morning of June 24th, my mother's 99th - or 100th - birthday, some of my mom's church friends, my sister-in-law Theresa, and myself set up the church hall while my mother attended 9:00 am mass in the church.
My mom pretending to take a bite out of her cake.