Happy Birthday in a Pandemic

Today is my older sister Stephanie’s birthday. This year she will not really know it.

Some of you know how big her heart is. How she will ask if you are happy? Call you a friend when she meets you. Pull you in for a hug and if lucky a big kiss. Maybe even pat the seat beside her, telling you to come join her. She loves all things purple, Coca-Cola, nail polish, ABBA and headbands. She enjoys a good burger, loves ice cream, going to the movies and a day she gets to spend with horses.

She loves a good holiday and party. She loves time with her friends and family, the more the merrier. Santa is amazing to her, she loves spotting the real Santa at house parties. She looks forward to the Easter bunny coming and bringing treats. Best of all she loves her birthday, and it drives her nuts that she has to get through mine to enjoy hers. One year on my birthday she sang:

Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday to me, tomorrow.
Happy Birthday to me.

Yes she has a great sense of humour! She teaches me to love big and laugh hard.

This year there is a pandemic. Stephanie doesn’t understand this.

For those of you who do not know my older sister, she was born with a developmental disability. Physically and chronologically she is my older sister, yet she will forever be my little sister. When I was three years old, she went to live in full-time care, in the 70’s and that meant an institution. She would come home for weekends, and holidays. We would pick her up and drop her off. Through the years she moved to group homes, and currently lives with a caregiver and enjoys going to her day program.

Then a pandemic happened and there was no going to her day program. Understanding this is hard for her. It is hard to move from having a structured routine and then having to stay home and not see friends or family. It is also hard on her friends and family for we would love to contact her, celebrate with her, but that triggers her. She doesn’t fully understand isolation, or that when I call I am not going to see her that day. We all know how hard it is for us to go through isolation, imagine those who cannot comprehend why they need to stay home. We have all had moments, amplify them.

I would love for my sister to feel the positive love and energy in the world today. Help send birthday wishes to her through the air and take action to celebrate a wonderful day. I ask you to do an act of kindness today.

Ideas in her honour:
*Buy a burger meal for someone in need.
*Support a caregiver or frontline worker with a free meal, buy their groceries, mow their lawn
*Write a positive message in purple and put it in your window
*Donate to a cause, https://plan.ca/donate is one our family uses and supports
*Turn the music up and dance to an ABBA song
*Be extra patient with that person who is struggling
*Reach out and make contact with someone taking care of those with special needs, or is alone
*Watch a movie with your family

I know my sister will feel the love and positivity energy is higher today and I hope that helps get her through this strange time of isolation.  The response has been heart warming. Many wishing her Happy Birthday and I can tell you that many AROUND the world will be wearing purple and dancing to ABBA amongst other things today in honour of her.

Know that if you see purple or hear ABBA today the universe is telling us Steph is having a great day.


Graciously written and shared by Stephanie’s sister Alison.