96 birthdays

Today is my 96th birthday! You could look at it as 96 years or 4,992 weeks or 35,040 days, or even 840,960 hours here on this earth. no matter how you look at it, let me tell you it’s been quite a wild ride.

For the most part, I’ve never overextended this birthday business or made a big deal of it. And when you’ve celebrated 96 birthdays, it’s hard to keep them all straight. But some birthdays stand out in my memory.

Helen on her 60th birthday.

The first birthday I remember is my 8th birthday—my golden birthday. My mother said I could invite two friends over. She’d baked a two-layer cake for us to frost together, and we frosted the whole thing. And then we tasted it, of course, and enjoyed every bite.

My 21st birthday fell on Election Day in 1942, and I took my mother to vote. But I didn’t get to vote because I wasn’t pre-registered! I thought that was kind of a bum deal, but I’ve voted in every election I could since then.

Helen on her 95th birthday with Woodbury Senior Living caregiver Kathy.

On my 22nd birthday, I was overseas serving at 8th Fighter Command Headquarters in England during World War II. My friends went to Paris that winter, but I was at the hospital recovering from an illness. So instead I went around talking to wounded soldiers recuperating there and wrote letters home for them.

For my 65th birthday, my sister brought a cake with 65 candles to the family party. I blew them all out in one fell swoop! A lady from across the restaurant came over to shake my hand, saying she’d never seen that happen before.

As you may remember, I was on the news last year for Election Day which also happened to be my 95th birthday. They threw a party for me and everyone dressed up funny, so that was special.

I want to know what your favorite birthdays have been. What’s one that stands out in your memory?

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