Two Birthday Girls: Sister Ruby and Aunt Lillian Do Not Know They Are Now Senior Citizens. Help!
Someone should talk to them.
Linda and Glen had planned a special, very creative, daylong birthday celebration for their mom: a surprise visit to each of her four siblings, Marion, Victor, Reggie, and me. When the three of them drove off that morning, Ruby had no idea where she was being taken.
But, no dummy, she quickly figured out that they were headed for Vic's place in Sturbridge, but didn't let on. She didn't want to ruin the surprise and they had a nice visit with Vic and his partner Marianne.
As they were leaving, Vic said, "Say hello to George for us."
Marianne gave Vic a look to kill.
At my house, taking a break from horsing around and lecturing Ruby about acting her age, I gave civil conversation a try. "So, you're heading next up to New Hampshire to see Reggie," I said.
Instantly, Glen and Linda shot each other open-mouthed expressions that said, "No! Not again!" I covered my mouth. Too late ... I had let the cat out of the bag.
Ruby looked at Glen. She looked at Linda.
Message received by Ruby.
"Oops," I said. "Sorry."
And what a look I got from Barbara, wishing me to -- gulp! -- suffer.
My punishment was immediate and severe -- a public spanking in my own home! Glen took matters into his own hands, literally, as you can see in the photo. Ouch!
See what I mean? Nobody her age does such things.
It was an ingenious way to kill four birds with one stone and to make time four times more productive. When you don't have time, you make time. Brilliant.
Growing up in foster homes -- and sharing some of them -- they watched each other's back as they stood together against unending abuse.
The other birthday girl, Aunt Lillian, arrived with daughter Nancy at her surprise party celebrating her big eight-oh -- and she was totally taken by surprise. She had made it clear that she did not want a party. And she figured that was that.
But she forgot that her young-uns Ginny, Nancy, and Walter take after her. Like their Mom, they have minds of their own.
See what I mean? Nobody her age does such things.
She is in the process of selling the Whitman home where she has lived for more than 40 years. She will be moving into a new addition to Ginny's home, currently being built by Ginny's contractor husband, Rob. Ginny is shown at left at the party's generous buffet.
For us not to be at her 80th birthday party, for example, is unthinkable. Each one of us would have moved heaven and earth to get there. Above is a photo of the five of us at the party with Aunt Lillian. Now an attempt by me to put into words how much she means to us:
Oh, you want a number? I'll pass, but not because I'm sensitive about the number, only because it is the least important thing about this birthday. Thanks to my wife Barbara, yesterday I lived every second, every minute, every hour and it was one of the happiest and most memorable days of my life.
Like Ruby, I didn't know where we were going or what we were going to do when we hit the road in the morning. Barbara was driving. I sat in the front seat like an obedient little boy being taking by his mommy out into the big, mysterious, wondrous world.
Before I knew it we were on the woodsy back roads of Connecticut and I sat there soaking up the natural beauty of great trees and stone walls built a hundred years ago or more. I build stone walls. "Look at all those walls," I said. "Beautiful."
Then came the big surprise. Barbara pulled out a couple of tickets and handed them to me. "The lunch was special, but this is the real birthday present," Barbara said with a smile.
Louise Pitre performed while dealing with a father who has Alzheimer's -- and who doesn't know who she is -- and a Mom entering early stages of the disease. The day before she had accepted the role at the Goodspeed, she learned that her Mom had been accepted at a top health care center in Canada, where she is from.
If she had not been accepted, Ms. Pitre said in an interview at Gelston House, she would not have accepted the role. But she did and went out there showing us all that, no matter what, life is a banquet -- and we must, live, live, live!
And here she is below doing just that, singing and dancing her heart out.
So long and keep moving.
"State Kid: Hero of Literacy" is fiction based on his real-life experiences growing up in foster homes; "Last Laughs," is the true story of how five foster kids (he and four younger siblings) found their way in life and each other. "Killers: Surprises in a Maximum Security Prison," is the story of his being locked up for 23 hours with killers in a maximum security prison; "I, Cadaver" is about his postmortem adventures and mischief in the anatomy lab at UMass Medical School. “A Beautiful Story” demonstrates the art and process of creative writing as a 16-year-old boy goes all out to write a story that literally saves his life; "A Long, Happy, Healthy Life," which is about how to live the title every day; and "Unlove Story," Writing anonymously as "Elvis," a husband, dumped after 38 years of marriage, lets it all out on love, marriage, life, everything. A guy doing this? It's unheard of.