[From Carol Kramer’s collection]
A wise friend told me that mourning is about missed firsts: the first missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Birthday. Bob is right. Today is the first missed birthday of Carol Kramer (May 29, 1933 – October 16, 2021).
For decades, Carol hosted her Sunday dinner for friends and family. In warm weather, the dinner was held on the porch. When guests had birthdays, Carol decorated the porch with various birthday paraphernalia kept in the Birthday Stuff envelope.
The envelope contains birthday lettering and placards, cardboard glasses for guests to wear, and paper balls. Carol also saved birthday cards given to her, my father and myself, as well as some anniversary cards given by her and my father to each other. Their anniversary will be another first missed.
Another birthday tradition was the Family Birthday Card. For decades, Carol sent the same birthday card to family members: Janet, Eugene, Leslie, David, Justin, Katherine and Audrey. The family member sent back the card to Carol who sent it the recipient on the next birthday, sometimes with a check included. The card was also circulated amongst Sunday dinner guests, but they did not take it home.
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