wasn’t excited about turning seventy-five. I would have been
happy to put it off for, let’s say, a decade. On the other hand, it would
be a non-Thanksgiving opportunity to get everyone in the family together.
the bitter cold and freezing winds in New York City last weekend, I had one of
the best birthdays of my life.
was not involved in the planning. I know it wasn’t easy. The grandchildren in Maryland had to get out of
school early, their parents had to battle DC’s Beltway and the Holland Tunnel
in a long-weekend traffic jam, and our always-traveling son had to fit in some
time between trips to Korea and Brazil. But
somehow it all came together.
stayed in a très chic
hotel next to the High Line, a park created from a once-to-be-demolished
elevated train track, in New York’s (also) très
chic meatpacking district.
Our rooms had gorgeous Hudson River views from their floor-to-ceiling
windows. My only request had been to see the 9/11 Memorial so we joined
the throngs of people paying their respects at the World Trade Center on a cold,
gray Saturday morning.
is a high priority for our family, and we did a lot of that. Walking is
important when you do a lot of eating so we did a lot of that too, only using cabs
or the subway or ducking into a Whole Foods market when frostbite threatened.
what really matters is that the weekend reassured me that I haven't done such a
bad job of being a wife, mother, colleague and friend. There were a lot
of tears (all mine), as I made an individual toast to each member of my beloved
family at our Saturday night, adults-only dinner. There were more tears (still
all mine) at my Sunday birthday lunch over my present, 75 Twitter-Length Tributes to Judy Kugel from friends, family and colleagues.
will treasure it for as long as I have birthdays.