I made a little thank you speech last Sunday at 1:50 p.m. before I left for Penn Station in New York City to catch a train to Boston. The speech was spontaneous. The audience was small—but they were the five most important people in my life, and they had made my 85th birthday celebration perfection.
Last Thanksgiving Sunday, I had noticed a full-page ad of rave reviews for a new Broadway play. I hadn’t been to New York in several years, but the reviews were extraordinary, and I decided then and there that I wanted my loved ones to join me in New York for a weekend to celebrate my transition from being old to being old-old.
And to see the play.
A lot of pieces had to fall into place.
- Nobody could get Covid.
- I had to not have a fall.
- My older grandson would have to fly in from Minnesota where winter weather can be a showstopper, so-to-speak.
- My younger grandson and his parents had to drive safely from Maryland.
- Seth had to not be in Brazil.
And it happened.
Everybody made it. The play (Kimberly Akimbo) was loved by all of us. We dined in a special restaurant for my birthday. We walked. We laughed. Our last meal together was take-out from a gluten-free bakery/restaurant for Sunday brunch. We ate outdoors. I had a gluten-free bagel that was extraordinarily close to the last real bagel I ate twenty-three years ago.
So, before it was time for me to hop in a cab to the train station, the first of our group to leave, I made a speech. I thanked the five people in the world I love the most for making me so happy.