On the weekend of September 24, 2017, I had the most amazing birthday celebration EVER!
It all started Saturday morning, with me going to get a cryotherapy treatment and a float. Afterwards, I got dressed and waited for my cousin to pick me up and take me to the picnic in El Cerrito. It was tough to find the exact location of the picnic, but once we arrived, and I saw all of the happy faces of my beloved family and friends, my heart filled with joy. It was one of the most beautiful days of the year, as per usual around my birthday – at least in the Bay Area.
The food was prepared by the my friends Jennifer and Paul, and included various types of burgers (beef, turkey and salmon), baked beans and mixed green salad with strawberries. There were several containers of my favorite cookies (triple ginger snaps, butter cookies with dark chocolate layered on top, oatmeal raisin, etc.), there was peach cobbler and Miss Vickie’s chips. Everything was delicious!
In the background, there was a video montage with photos of me throughout my life, as well as a mix of my own songs and hit songs from my youth. After we ate, we danced and sang along.
At the midpoint of the party, the gaming company JRL Xtreme Laser Tag arrived and set up games for everyone to enjoy. They brought giant sized Jenga and Connect Four, as well as Bottle Ring Toss, Football Bowling (Footling), Laser Tag, and the crowd winner, Four Square Volleyball. I felt like a kid again! It was so much fun!
On Sunday I arrived at the party, the house full of beautiful smiles, and loads of delicious food, again prepared by Jennifer and Paul. There were vegetable platters with a blue cheese dipping sauce, fresh fruit, dumplings stuffed with various meats, potatoes and cheese, salmon bites, grilled vegetables, and more cake than anyone knew what to do with! Several of my friends blessed me with song, including an epic improvised birthday song by Sundra and Destani. I was surrounded by love and light, and could not have imagined a more beautiful expression of gratitude another year of life.
Thank you to my family and friends for being there. I appreciate and love all of you so much! I’m so grateful for the blessing of having you in my life.
Special thanks to Pam, Linda, Nina, Carmelita and Carla for your attention to detail, your love, generosity, energy and contribution helping to put together such a wonderfully special weekend in my honor. Extra special thanks to Debra for all of your hard work, support, that awesome salad, and love.
Thank you to Donte and the folks at JRL Xtreme Laser Tag for the games! We had so much fun! And it’s official, I’m TERRIBLE at Laser Tag, but still had a great time.
Thank you to Jennifer and Paul for cooking all of the food! Everything was incredibly delicious. Thank you Chelsea for the music equipment, the video montage, and music. Thank you to Sundra, Amy, Destani, Tajma, Kenny, Colin, Allison, Ron, Barbara and Chris for sharing their musical gifts. Thanks to Phyllis and Bradford for traveling from Los Angeles! Thank you Alan for hosting the party!
Thank you to my immediate and extended family, my Father, StepMom, Brother and 2 of my sisters (we missed you, Bree!), my BFFs and my sweetheart Dave for being there for me. I love you all.
And the biggest thanks goes to my Mother for being the visionary and organizer behind the whole thing. At the beginning of the year, I told her that I wanted to have a fabulous party for my BIG birthday, and she went into action. I simply told her what I wanted and she made it happen. Amazing. I love you, Mom!