A Milestone Birthday During a Pandemic
My family celebrates. We celebrate everything; we do birthdays, Christmas, Chanukah, Passover, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving…we even celebrate the deceased at funerals with food, drink and speeches. On milestone birthdays, the ones that end in 0 or 5, we tend to go over the top (although, I must admit, on my 50th birthday, I instructed my ex to do nothing. He was foolish enough to listen. Not long after, he became my ex.).
So, I awoke yesterday morning to face a milestone during the pandemic. Over the past year…I tend to be a planner…I thought about a big party, a family trip, a huge Rockaway barbecue (weather permitting), but COVID never let up, and my birthday arrived with some family members and friends vaccinated, some not, some venturing out, some still in full or semi-isolation, and travel out of the question! I’d had enough of Zoom get-togethers, which tend to start out awkwardly, and move on to just uncomfortable, so Liam, my wonderful husband, took it upon himself to plan a celebration for me. We realized that it would have to be a.) small…just immediate family, and b.) divided into sections, depending on which immediate family were vaccinated , which were not, which were socializing outside of their bubble, which were not. Liam and I are among the two-weeks-after-vaccination group, so we could be flexible. And so began my birthday.
I awoke to a beautiful bouquet of flowers, snuck into the house by Liam, and a huge array of hysterical and touching cards! Then, wonderful phone calls started to come in. My oldest grandson began with, “I wanted to wish a Happy Birthday to you and Hitler”. Yes, April 20th was Der Fuhrer’s birthday, as well as mine, a fact that caused me much pain as a child. My oldest grandson can be dark, bless him! From there, I went on to the internet, and can only say that the fantastic messages found there from friends, family, people from my past and present, really made me aware of how fortunate I am, and made me wonder how I got so lucky ! Then, the jury reached a verdict in the Derek Chauven trial; GUILTY on all three counts. My niece texted me, “Auntie B. strikes again!”, because the verdict came in on my birthday. We then went out to dinner with my older son, and my younger grandson , a sushi afficionado, to the best sushi restaurant in NYC for the last 40 years! It was a ball!
I now await another celebration this weekend with my younger son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren (my younger son’s birthday is also this weekend, and he, too, is observing semi-quarantine) . And, Liam set all this up! Could I be more fortunate? So, on this blog, I want to take the opportunity to thank all the wonderful people in my life, whether or not I can see you, for making me feel so loved. That’s what a celebration really is! I also want to thank the 12 Minnesota jurors who gave their thoughtful verdict yesterday, Darnella Frazier, the 17 year old young woman, whose video of the George Floyd murder gave the prosecution the evidence that they needed to bring in their guilty verdict, and the brave police chief and police officers who didn’t let the “thin blue line” quash their honest and vital testimony.
Much love to all.