Teddy Afro, a well-known singer, visits the Happy home without having ever had a birthday, but they quickly grasp the concept. And because Mama Sue is so significant to everyone of their lives, her birthday must be honored. Although it falls on a Sunday, we held a special family gathering on Thursday afternoon to celebrate Sue’s special day and to bid me farewell.
It was a just delightful, carefree, and joyful occasion. Rukia, dressed as a queen, played the part of birthday girl Mama in a small play that the teachers had created. She gladly received their card, present, greeting, and cake while a series of kids wearing birthday crowns trickled into the party.
The procession then went on to present the birthday gifts to their honored visitor, who was pleased with her gorgeous card, a toy tiger, and a very special cake. Rukia led Mama to join them. The children sang along to songs they had been practicing for Mama as Mr. Charles played the keyboard.
I had a big knot in my throat the entire time, and it got even worse when it was my turn to take the stage. A lovely card is presented first, followed by the lovely chorus “Libby, Libby don’t forget this day; Libby, Libby don’t forget this spot.” as if I could ever. However emotional I may have felt, this was a party, therefore there was cake to eat and dancing to be done. Uncle Isaac, Uncle Billy, Auntie Rose, the teachers, house moms, aunts, and Papa Dave, who had been battling the weather to go grocery and market shopping every week, all joined in.
Sue has had a great deal of physical hardship over the previous two years, including a broken arm, broken hip, and hip replacement. It has been stressful to get the Happy House to this point. But on Thursday, she stood up and danced for the first time in two years, and it was very special to witness her, my dear friend, enjoy herself with the family she has built and to whom she spends all of her time, energy, and devotion. It was yet another one of those heart-melting amazing Happy House moments.