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Happy Birthday, Delaney!

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Happy Birthday, Delaney!

Take Me to the Moon  5.8

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Delaney blew out the candles on her cake.  This would be her last birthday cake.  As her family cheered, pictures from the past passed through her mind.

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Her dad.  Her earliest memory of being loved.

Delaney with Cedric

Her mom. Learning what could be accomplished with focus and discipline.

Delaney with Cassandra

Looking in the mirror and hating herself for surviving them.  Feeling that there was no reason she should have lived, when they did not.  Realizing, even in her anger, that her life had to count for something.

anger

Beginning again with Aunt Cacey and Uncle Barnaby, in Oasis Springs.

Delaney with Cacey and Barnaby

Finding Ryleigh, whose quiet orderliness,  gave Delaney the relief from her past that she needed.  And helped her build a new normal.

Ryleigh child

From the beginning, Alexander was like home to Delaney.  Being with him was no different than being alone, except he was there to share whatever was going on.

Alexander child chess

All those friendships and love helped Delaney find the courage to start to dream of living up to that tremendous burden she put on herself to make her life worth living, to pursue her dad’s and great grandma’s dream for her … to be a Space Ranger.

DElaney Future Space ranger

As she grew, she spent countless long hours training

Delaney training teen

and building Earhart

Building Earhart

with a few breaks with friends.

delaney hanging out teen

With Bella’s help, the day of Earhart’s first flight finally dawned.  Delaney still remembers looking up at her creation and wondering what it would be like to be looking down from space, on everyone and everything she’d ever known here.  And if her mother and father and grandparents would be proud.

Delaney first flight

Riding Earhart into the stratosphere, and beyond.  Elation.

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Coming back to earth, only briefly, and then a new kind of elation.

Engagement camping

All the sorrow and joy of her life so far, wrapped up in one big day.   Memories of loss and grief, juxtaposed against the forging of a new family.

Delaney vows

Delaney also remembers the wonder of holding each of her nephews, Dashle, Dennis, and Darryl, for the first time.

helping with triplets

And the unexpected struggles of learning to be part of an extended family.

before friends with bella

Which made her appreciate and remember her mother again, after all those years.

Delaney remmebering mom

Delaney’s early career was full of swashbuckling adventure and grandiose moments.

early career as astronaut

And she rode a wave of youthful vigor.   Her main memory from Ryleigh’s wedding, which she helped plan, was heady flirting with Alexander while everyone else was in the kitchen.

Flirting at Ryleigh's wedding

This memory of Ryleigh’s wedding party merges into so many happy memories as she and Ryleigh both lived in each other’s houses, enjoying being adults and being friends.

Ryleigh's wedding

Delaney’s still not sure whether Ewan was conceived in the rocket,

rocket romance

or on earth

Delaney loves heart boxers

But she’ll never forget the marvel of holding her own child.  Hers and Alexanders.  He was perfect, exquisite.

ewan's birth

And her and Alexander’s banter about the Zombie Apocalypse, just after Ewan’s birth.

Zombie Apocalypse Ewan birth

“In the Zombie Apocalypse,I’m leaving this child with you for a moment!”

Through the joy of being a new mom, the sting of growing apart with Ryleigh was not what she would have thought it would be.

strained with ryleigh

Looking back, she wonders if she could have reached out more to Ryleigh, but at the time, she was cocooned in the warmth of her growing family’s love.

Ewan meets cousins

She and Alexander soon found out they were expecting Elise.

everyday romance preg with Elise

And welcomed her into their family.

WElcome baby elise

Delaney still wonders about Bella’s premonitions when she first met Elise.   Or was it a memory of Bella’s, that was triggered by meeting her granddaughter?

Bella meets elise

The joy of Elise’s birth and sharing their home with friends and family, was overshadowed by Cacey’s impending departure.

goodbye cacey party

This time, though, Delaney was too busy comforting Ewan to be too wrapped up in her own loss.

comforting ewan

Maybe Delaney was still intoxicated with youth and love, because she didn’t really share the depth of Cacey’s grief at parting.

goodbye cacey

Not long after, Mortimer’s health was failing, and Bella, Mortimer, and Desmond moved in with Delaney and Alexander.

mortimer's last day

Before anyone was ready, Mortimer’s time was up.  Delaney lectured Grim when he came to get her father-in-law.  This time, she was determined not to just take what death doled out, silently.

arguing with grim

Delaney’s great grandmother, Maddi, visited Tesla Place one time.  She entered the house confident, after seeing Delaney’s accomplishment made concrete in a statue.

grandma maddis one visit

Alexander wanted one more baby.  Delaney was nearly at the top of career, and even though another pregnancy would slow down her progress, she decided it was worth it, for him.

one more time-- eric

During this pregnancy, she thought she saw her mother in the bathroom one night, appalled at the state of the plumbing.

Delaney sees her mom pregnant with elise

She’ll never forget how pleased Alexander was with his little Eric.

alexander holds eric

Or her own sadness at leaving him to go on her mission to Sixam.

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The wonder of looking up into the galaxies above, for earth, and her family, out there circling a star far away.  A pinnacle achievement; balanced by the realization that being human means where there is gain, there is loss.

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The disbelief of Cacey’s return, and how much Cacey had changed.

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And having the maturity and hindsight to not let things slide when they are really important.

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Delaney doesn’t regret that she changed careers late in life to complete her Renaissance Sim aspiration; she’s grateful for the support and love of her family.  Especially Alexander, whose constant love and supportive attitude and actions have allowed her to explore, succeed, and accomplish.  She wants to support him, his well-being, his health.

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Her accomplishments begin to fade in importance, next to her children’s.  Now she is proud of Elise, her budding scientist,

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Ewan, her artist, and Eric, her connoisseur.

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And Zoe, her goofball daughter in law, who makes Ewan happy.

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She’s gotten to see Ewan succeed in his own right, and in his first art show, see her own accomplishments through her son’s, and the public’s, eye.

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Her treasure is the happiness of her children.

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As Delaney goes into this last stage of life, she is grateful.  And she has plans.

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To enjoy her family.

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To be there for Alexander, who has always been there for her.

To consider retiring, if the family’s finances can sustain without her already, so she can help others focus on their goals.

Maybe she will reconnect with Ryleigh and Cacey.  If it can happen.

It is time to be more quiet, less striving, more peaceful, and more helpful to others.  Delaney doesn’t know if she can do that, but she’d like to give it a try.

Thank you to CathyTea, from whose blog I got the idea to look back over Delaney’s life, at her elder birthday, instead of at her death.  To celebrate her now, before grief blurs the picture.

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17 Comments so far:

  1. Echo Weaver says:

    Wow. This was a really nice retrospective!

    I hadn’t really thought about Delaney losing her closeness with Ryleigh. I do hope she reaches out.

    And Bella is still alive….

    • Thanks, Echo Weaver! Partly, they grew apart after Ryleigh just never got into having kids the way Delaney did, and then, ironically, Delaney really focused on her careers and aspirations. I have to say, it is a priority to me to have Delaney do some mentoring and writing and spending time with Alexander, so I am still not sure if she will be able to reconnect with Ryleigh but I would really like that to happen. The house is just so full now!

  2. cathytea says:

    Aw. Your last line brought tears for real. Sometimes, perhaps, it’s the looking back that overfills our hearts, for our Sims show us in distillation just how rich and full each of our own lives are… and how can we not feel the tears of gratitude as our hearts overfill with the awe of a life?

    • Yes, it goes back to that gratitude, and when you were talking about having gratitude when you experience the sweetness of something; I’ve been thinking about that lots in real life and hopefully it came out in this piece as well, about Delaney’s life. It blows my mind I’ve been playing her since the winter holidays!

      • cathytea says:

        If you need support when Grim comes for her, please reach out. “Just a Sim” right? No–It’s a digital friend who’s been with you since the Winter Holidays. So if you need to share with a friend who’s lost many dear digital friends, I’ll be happy to receive and to share my own warmth and gratitude! <3

  3. manda1021 says:

    What a beautiful chapter and so sweet. It was nice to look back on all she has done with her life. 🙂

  4. keva1986 says:

    Really love this chapter! It’s such an interesting perspective on her life and I love the way you modified the colors of the photos to represent how old they were. Nice job!

  5. raerei says:

    I have to say, I loved the picture with Barnaby best.. But then I think he was my favorite. <3

  6. Carla says:

    What a gorgeous look back at Delaney’s life! Sometimes you don’t realise how much a sim has accomplished until you back and catalog it all like this. I had that experience when I was doing Adam’s obituary.

    It’s sad that Delaney drifted apart from Ryleigh but I guess that happens when your lives go in different directions. It’ll be interesting to see if they end up reconnecting at all.

    • Thanks, Carla, yes, I really hope too that Delaney has time for her friendship with Ryleigh again. They spent the whole time at the recent pool party together, just autonomously chatting, Ryleigh in her pinstripe suit :-), but usually Delaney is so busy all the time. When they were kids I pictured them always being a big part of each others’ lives. I keep feeling torn by the tension between wanting to play other households and wanting to keep the legacy moving, so I’ve barely played Rianna and Rachel (Ryleigh’s kids) except to age them up.

  7. moondansr says:

    I loved getting to see Barnaby again! He’s a fond memory for me. The black and whites were a really nice effect.

    You’ve actually been my inspiration for the way I’m treating this new blog town I’m making. I’ve decided to save the families to the gallery where I know that I can retrieve them every time a birthday happens, and the homes too. This way it will be easier to reconstruct things if something happens to my game or hard drive. You did such a great job of reconstructing what you needed and also adding depth to the story when things went wrong for you.

    These life reviews really mean a lot, no matter when they happen. I just love the feeling of accomplishment they give.

    • The gallery is a great tool for saving sims– it is so much easier than it was in Sims 2 to save sims in-game. I hope your new blog works out really well, I’m really enjoying reading the introductions to each family.

  8. Ariadne2001 says:

    Alexander is probably going to die before Bella does… That’s… Creepy

  9. I agree, Sophia, it is so weird and creepy. Thanks for commenting!

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