DIDN’T I JUST HAVE A BIRTHDAY?

Next month is October, my birthday month. But wait, didn’t I just have a birthday? In spite of a worldwide pandemic which turned our lives upside down and my becoming bedridden from worsening arthritis, this year has flown by. I meant to write a description of my ninetieth birthday party immediately after the celebration, but many months later the cards and souvenirs are still in a pile in the den waiting for me to write that story. Going through those mementos yesterday, I re-lived the entire happy event.

And now it is time to plan the next birthday. There will be no party. I will not try to top, or equal, the ninetieth one, which was fabulous. We had music, limericks, songs, cake, flowers, talented guests, watercolors, hand painted cards, and general goodwill. Guests included Ransford, Pat, Connie, and Betty. This group comprised our Blue Highways lunch and story-reading group. We met every fourth Monday at Blue Highways for lunch, then came to my house afterward to read our recently written stories to each other. My ninetieth birthday happened to fall on our monthly meeting day.

Daughter Clea and I had planned the party two months in advance while she was visiting here from Maryland. She pre-ordered the cake and floral cake topper, bought party plates and napkins. Jennifer, Clea’s co-worker and friend in Maryland, who still has never even met me, composed an eight-stanza song of my life after talking with Clea and John, and performed it via recording to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine.” I was happy that day because I was with my good writer friends. The Publix white cake with coconut frosting was delicious. I want another one just like it, Clea, including the huge cake topper from the florist.

Each guest wrote me a limerick or other poetry or prose. Here are some examples:

There was an old lady demonic,
Who liked to have gin with her tonic.
        She went to the store,
        In hopes to buy more,
But her walker was not supersonic.

There was a young woman named Pattie,
Whose life was exceedingly naughty.
        But when she got old,
        The stories she told,
Made everyone think she was batty.

There was an old woman named Pattie,
Who today is turning age ninety.
        The stories she writes,
        Give us much delight,
But some of them are pretty wacky.

A lady named Pattie Macurdy,
Writes stories without being wordy.
        A mantra of truth,
        She tells of her youth,
And sometimes she gets down and dirty.

Gather ‘round. Don’t be late.
Light the candles on the cake.
        Watch the blazes that will make!
        Happy Birthday, Pattie Dear.
We’ll be back again next year!

There once was a woman called Mom,
Who gracefully aged with aplomb.
        She wrote, danced and rollated,
        Her stories she collated.
On her birthday we wish her Salaam!

Other birthday messages came via U.S. Mail, in person, and by e-mail. I received much love and attention that day and reveled in all of it.

Now, what to wish for on this upcoming ninety-first birthday. I wish for this story to be polished into excellence by then, and be posted to my blog. I wish for some drug company to produce a Covid-19 vaccine. I wish for the Biden/Harris ticket to win the November election. I wish for the Electoral College to be eliminated.

I have experienced much physical decline this past year. Due to debilitating arthritis in my knees, hips, wrists, and hands, my time is now spent in bed or operating from a power chair onto which someone must lift me. I shall continue to write stories and post them to my blog, pattieremembers.wordpress.com. Writing keeps me alive. Remember also my book titled Sunsets and Buzzards is available on Amazon as an e-book, paperback, or hardcover.

I will try to maintain a good attitude about being non-ambulatory, though I don’t like the helplessness, or discomfort. Four capable caregivers take turns visiting to bathe, dress, and feed me. If one puts me into my power chair, I can ride it to my computer and compose a story. I look forward to producing a story next month when I will be ninety-one! See you then!

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