The other morning I received a phone call to look outside my window. There on my street were at least 10 police cars. Startled and intrigued, I went outside to investigate. Anticipating that someone on my street was about to be served with an arrest warrant, I quickly began to deduce who that may be. Unable to name one person, I remained baffled. But, before I was able to solve my latest mystery, the Police “lit ‘em up” and drove down my street. They rounded the corner and turned onto the street behind me with their sirens wailing. Still somewhat confused, I asked my equally curious neighbor what was going on. She was definitely more in the know than I was, because she told me that it was for a child’s birthday on the street behind us. Wow, I thought. That was so nice.
Stories such as this are becoming the new norm in birthday party celebrations. “Drive-by parties” they call them. The celebrated one stands on the front steps and waves, as well wishers drive by with signs and tooting horns (or sirens!). Here is an example of a story from Pittsburgh: Woman celebrates her 100th birthday .
While it is a well intended gesture, and definitely better than nothing, I have a twinge of sympathy for all of those people out there who are left with no other alternative way to celebrate. I also find myself yearning to celebrate events such as holidays and birthdays like we did just a few months ago.
So today, I am going old school and sharing with you a birthday celebration from just six months ago, when my Mom celebrated her milestone birthday. It makes me smile, thinking of how we were able to pull it off and grateful that we had it when we did. In case you weren’t there, here is a snip-it of her arrival…
Confetti filled gold nestled among black and white balloons, tied in a bouquet, centered each black tablecloth. The sound of 80s pop music filled the air while people of all ages mingled around the antiquated hall.
“Do you think she knows?” rang as conversation starter of the evening by both family and friends.
“Everyone, she has arrived!” exclaimed the DJ from the makeshift stage in the corner of the room. The laughter, music and friendly conversations were replaced by a quiet hush as the party guests silenced themselves in anticipation of her arrival. The faint smell of pulled pork and BBQ ribs filled the air.
“Surprise!” everyone shouted as she entered through the front door. Her eyes opened wide. Her head dropped in disbelief. Her hand covered her mouth as she began to cry. The guests remained in their spots, watching her reaction.
The youngest guests, her grandchildren, ran up to embrace her in warm hugs…
This weekend should be a time for us to gather together to celebrate Easter and/or Passover with extended families and friends. Instead, we will find ourselves creating alternative ways to acknowledge the holiday, just as we are with birthdays. While I am quite sure you will not have 10 police cars drive by with sirens during your Easter meal or a DJ playing 80s music at your Seder supper, what are you doing to make the holiday memorable? Will you still have a family meal together on Zoom? Will you drive by that special family member’s house and blow them a kiss? Will you try your best to normalize it as much as you can and keep with as many holiday traditions as possible? Or will you be creative and begin a new family tradition? Whatever you decide, I wish you and yours a memorable one!