WOW! Just recently I celebrated my 90th birthday with family and friends who kindly remembered. I can assure you my birthday was indeed CELEBRATED.
On a Monday evening prior to my birthday, a dear friend invited me to a Japanese “BBQ” dinner. There was a “grill-like” cooking appliance on the table. The chicken, shrimp, beef, spinach were separately wrapped in foil and placed on the grill. My friend turned the foil over and over until the food was cooked. The food was absolutely delicious!
In the evening of my birthday, I received a call from someone I have known since she was 4 years old and her sister, whom I have known since her birth, to wish me a happy day. They live in Los Gatos. It was such a pleasant surprise and joy to hear from them since I have not heard from them in a while. They have been a second family since I met them in 1953.
Two weeks later after my birthday I received a call from a friend who now lives in La Jolla wishing me a happy belated birthday. It was good to hear from her and I could not believe that she remembered my birthday.
When I went to church, the Sunday after my birthday, a thoughtful friend presented me with a beautiful birthday cake, which was so unexpected. I prayed that God will forgive me because I joined some of my friends by eating the cake instead of attending church service. This was, however, necessary because my niece was coming to take me to a birthday luncheon within a half hour.
At the OCTOPUS, a Japanese restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, my nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews sat around the table, making a total of 16. The food was unusual, but very tasty. It was the first time I dined at this restaurant and I highly recommend it. My niece had one beautiful chocolate cake and the other with white frosting adorned with strawberries, giving each person a choice as to the dessert.
It was indeed a joyous family gathering.
The next day the RAFU staff presented me with a beautifully decorated birthday cake and thoughtfully sugar-free, which was another surprise. They gathered around the table and sang “Happy Birthday,” which made a tearful but happy moment.
How many of you readers can say you were presented with four birthday cakes for one birthday? Ain’t that something?!
I received some thoughtful and beautiful gifts. They were not just ordinary gifts, I am so grateful for the time taken in choosing these lovely gifts. I also received 26 birthday cards. There were a few humorous ones, a few with beautiful sentiments, a few unique ones and, of course, ten with some form of cats on the cards.
There have been times of extreme hardships and deep sorrow along with many moments of happiness and joy in my life. God HAS BLESSED me with answered prayers, a faithful family and wonderful friends. He has given me 90 years of life. Because of His grace and mercy, I am able to provide for myself, work part-time three days a week, drive and care for my furry daughter, Tika. PRAISE GOD!
Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist and can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.