A Birthday To Remember


Happy Birthday Coca-Cola

Happy Birthday Coca-Cola (Photo credit: The Rocketeer)

Although I never know how each of my days will go nor end up, the excitement is building  up inside of me as the day approaches. My brother’s birthday is coming in the beginning of May. As children we never had elaborate birthdays at a Chuckey Cheese, or the roller skating rink. We never had over night slumber parties. Our birthdays were celebrated with grandparents being invited and maybe a neighbor kid near by. Mom would always bake an angel food cake and decorate it with an icing made out of the clear Karo syrup. She would buy a store-bought kit, with the hard sugared candies. Do you remember them? You soaked them in water, which loosened them from the white paper. They were complete with candy letters spelling out happy birthday, and candy candle holders. Mom would put the appropriate number of candles on the cake. The highlight would be, they would sing a happy birthday to him or me. We would feel embarrassment while they all sang, then we would blow out our candles. They would clap. We would open our gifts we received, and loved what we opened. While mom would cut the cake and get coffee and plates out, we would take off with our new gifts to play, sometime later coming back to eat a piece of our special cake. When I ponder back to those days, each birthday was preprogrammed. Each year was done exactly the same way. I grew to count on those special days. I would give anything to have a preprogrammed birthday today. Most of my family is deceased now, so I am left to my memory files. This is alright though. They bring many smiles and comfort to me when I visit. Now, as I care for my brother, it is painstakingly hard to admit that I don’t know if my brother will be here next year with me or living in a facility with strangers. That thought causes huge goose bumps to pop up all over my arms. I don’t think I am ready to accept, although I have had thoughts of it. I have never told you this, but my brother is very limited in his sights. He sees one path, one road, one item. He has never been able to grasp more than one idea at a time. His love of his life is not of human form. It is red. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Round, tall, short, flat, old, new. It is the coca cola collection. When times are good for him, I can say that word ever so softly, and his eyes light up, his ears perk up and the chatter runs like salmon swimming upstream. Have you ever seen movies or pictures of salmon swimming up-stream? It is an awesome sight. They do not stop, continually moving and jumping. This is my brother, when he is with the love of his life. I have already started the planning process. I have invited guests, friends, his  part-time caregiver, my kids. I want this to be the most special birthday ever for him. I want him to rattle on about it for days on end. I will be guaranteed many smiles, and stars in his eyes. There will be a cook out with many food items brought in. A campfire roaring. Everyone will be at ease and laid back. There will be lots of conversations with laughter.  I have ordered him a special cake. A very special cake. A white cake, with butter cream icing, with lots of bright-colored butter cream flowers. On top of the cake will be his name in writing. There will be no candles on this cake, as I do not want to frustrate him by him not being able to blow out the candles. There will be no singing, as I do not want him to be confused with days gone by and today. There may be clapping or words of praise . On top of the cake will be the most elaborate decorations of all. It will all be done in coca cola.

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11 thoughts on “A Birthday To Remember

  1. Oh yeah, I remember those hard candy cake decorations. I had my share of birthday cakes with those also. Today is my birthday, so it was nice to remember that. I know your brother is going to enjoy this day. Thanks so much for caring for him.

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  2. I’m sure that … he will love his cake, “sound” fantastic – I think he will be glad over that there will be no singing. I hate when people sing on my birthday – never liked it. Feel so silly sitting there and have to listen – specially if out on a restaurant or something and the whole place starts singing and the staff – HATE it! The company of good friends, family and laughter are more important then anything else.

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