Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday Bernice!

Happy Birthday Bernice!

Bernice Kantrowitz

It was four days before my birthday and as I walked to the Tuesday meeting of the Writer’s Group, I was feeling depressed. I kept telling myself that it was too hot for an almost 93 year old lady to be out. In addition, the sadness of my daughter Susan’s recent death doesn’t go away. However, I refused to turn back. I found a story that I had written and I wanted to read it to my friends at Writers’ because I think they would understand how I felt.

When I arrived at Room A-8 Ellie and Jackie were already there to greet me. Then when I looked in front of me there was a birthday bag and card from Ellie. In the bag was a beautiful black, sequined shawl. I was overwhelmed at her thoughtfulness when she said she thought it looked like me and what I would wear. This got me out of the doldrums and I was beginning to feel like celebrating. Just before everyone arrived for the meeting Jackie handed me a birthday card from the Writers’ Group that said nice things about me. Of course they wouldn’t say what they really meant on my birthday. I was so pleased that when I thanked them I couldn’t help tearing up because I thought they didn’t like me. Deep down I thought they were waiting for me to leave so they could take over the hammer.

Jackie assured me that wasn’t the case as she handed me a big bag with a balloon on top. Another surprise and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this group that I knew so well. Inside the bag was a beautiful red sweater. When Jackie handed me the bag she read a beautiful tribute to me. All I can say is that I was so happy to be there and if the idea was to make me feel special on my birthday – they succeeded.

At the end of the day I had to tell the Group that they made this the best day of my life and I thanked them, one and all, for being my friend. But I also thanked them for allowing me to come to the meetings every week and listening to what I had to read. At the end of the meeting I picked up everything I had been given and I was on a natural high. I kept thinking, “This is the best day of my life.”

Later when I called Ellie and Jackie to thank them for the beautiful shawl and the bright red sweater, I told them I was so excited when I got home I just couldn’t get over the high I was on. I told them both about how I never vacuum anymore because I tell myself I’m too old. But today, I had so much energy I got out the vacuum and did the whole house. I still wasn’t tired but it brought me down and back to reality.

Ellie told me that I should write about how I feel and read it to the Group on Tuesday. Jackie agreed with her. So I want to thank the Writer’s Group for treating me so special that I had the “best day of my life. Even if it took 93 years to have it – I’m grateful.”