Will and Alma Sheehan were surprised with a family party to celebrate their 80th and 75th birthdays, respectively, in July 1996.
The big prize, aside from seeing their five kids; 10 of their 11 grandchildren; and assorted in-laws all in one day, was a gift of an electric garage door opener for their Cape Cod home.
"They send people to the moon, but that garage door opener is the greatest," Dad said after the gizmo was installed.
Ma was practically speechless, realizing she wouldn't have to fight with the heavy garage door anymore. Then, as she saw Dad trying to open the door with another one of his gifts, "The Shout and Shoot II," she regained her voice.
"Will! You're going soft!
"That's not the garage-door opener. It has to be installed," she said.
She later wrote thank you notes to all her kids, saying she and Dad would remember that birthday for the rest of their lives.
Grandchild numero uno, Patrick Hickey email@example.com, had his dates wrong, but made it down to the Sheehan summer compound a couple of days later.
Dad also got a letter from President Clinton congratulating him on his birthday.