“I can’t believe I’m here with you on your 30th birthday,” I said. “Number #1 because I had a stroke three years ago (and, hence, enjoy every single moment is as if it’s on steroids), and #2, we have to stay home anyway.”
"I know,” Annie said, reaching her hand across the table. “I was thinking the same thing.” As she took her hand away, it bumped into the cup of chamomile tea she had poured herself at the “Complimentary Tea Station” when entering the kitchen.The first activity was candle-making. We placed wicks in small candle tins and poured in tea tree, peppermint, lavender, or sweet orange essence into the melting soy wax on the stove. (Note: Soy wax burns quickly.) Then stir in wax blocks of green, pink, blue, purple, yellow, or red. Pour into the tins with waiting wicks, and voila! … homemade, scented candles.
In the late afternoon, we watched our favorite movie (which we’ve seen a million times), “Father of the Bride I.” You know, the one with Diane Keaton and Steve Martin? We love it. Annie and I both remarked how strange it was to see people interacting so closely, without masks.
The Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center was taking place that same night of Annie’s birthday. Coincidentally, when I had ACB, thirty years ago, I remember sitting up in the hospital bed and thinking how, just streets away from my perch at Mt. Sinai Hospital, people were celebrating the holiday season. With my brand-new daughter cuddled next to me, I celebrated with them. (Then she began to cry … and would not stop. Talk about a buzz kill.)
Annie ordered in her favorite dinner (burgers and lobster macaroni and cheese), and by now, Husband “left his office,” which means he came downstairs. Since the renewed surge of the pandemic, he works from home. We were now a party of three revelers cheering on this benchmark birthday.
In the background of almost everything I do is the reality of the Coronavirus. I always told my children that we have to make home our heaven. Because right beyond the front door, there are horrific things taking place. The news flash on my phone proved it. By 9:15 p.m., CNN reported, “The US has reported the highest number of new daily Covid-19 deaths since the plague began, with more than 2,650 reported so far today.”
Bringing out cake and candles helped me get back in the groove after reading the dismal news.