This past weekend I turned 32 while sitting inside my house, watching the rain come down, and feeling completely grateful for the delightfully different birthday that I experienced this year.
Even though my birthday was on Sunday, my social distancing celebration started on Saturday when I received two Edible Arrangements – one from my family and one from my work. It was a really fun surprise to get two delicious bouquets. Even though I have not been able to see my family or my work friends for a long time, it was really nice of them to think of me and send me some yummy treats to snack on. Plus, it was really funny that both my family and friends thought to send me the same thing!
Later that afternoon, my fiance and I decided to take a drive across town to my favorite bakery to pick out a birthday pie for us to eat the next day. After we donned our masks, we quickly went inside and grabbed a Five Berry Pie and two Half Moon cookies as my birthday treats before heading home. When we arrived home, my fiance told me that we should go to our backyard and when we did I was surprised to find my best friend there! She was careful to stay at least 6 feet from me at all times, but she had decorated my yard and brought me birthday cupcakes, which were fantastic. My best friend is a nurse, so she has been very busy since New York shut down, and it meant so much to me that she took the time to bring me cupcakes and decorate my backyard for my birthday.
The next morning, I woke up to my fiance making me a fancy coffee drink since we could not go to a coffee shop. Then I was surprised when my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew pulled into my driveway and held up signs in the rain that said “Happy Birthday Steph!” They had baked me my favorite cake – a Hummingbird Cake – and some cinnamon rolls! They dropped their gifts off in my garage and sang me Happy Birthday from more than six feet away. It was the first time I had seen them in person in over a month even though they only live 5 minutes away.
Later that day, my fiance’s parents came to our driveway and waved. They also dropped off cookies and apple pie on our porch! We were overflowing with desserts at this point! I told my fiance that we could not handle any more surprises because we had too many snacks for just the two of us to eat!
But just then, my fiance got a message from the dad of one of the little boys at my church. The little boy wanted to deliver a “surprise” for my birthday. Twenty minutes later he arrived with two pints of ice cream from a specialty ice cream shop and a hand drawn picture of a cat. I loved it!
That evening, instead of going out to dinner, my fiance made steak and ravioli for us which was delectable. Then we watched a movie and listened to the rain.
It certainly wasn’t the kind of birthday celebration that I’m used to, but it was really wonderful. I was very touched to see the creative lengths that my family and friends went to in order to express their love on my birthday. This was definitely a birthday I’ll never forget.
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.