birthday cake

Celebrating birthday with family is what life’s about

By ERNIE ZIMMERMANErnie Zimmerman
Palms West Monthly
Posted Nov. 4, 2016

For about a two-week period recently, my beautiful wife Sharon kept on reminding me about an upcoming breakfast date we had with her good friend Laurie and her husband.

No big deal, but it seemed she was reminding me about it almost every day.

What was strange though, was that Sharon almost never makes breakfast dates. She’d rather stay in bed. Oh well, I thought. Laurie and her husband must really want to have breakfast with us.

However, I couldn’t help wondering why anytime I would invite her to go out to breakfast with me and my friends, I’d be turned down cold. Good thing I love eating out for breakfast, because I quickly put those concerns to rest and looked forward to our upcoming date.

When the day arrived, Sharon said we would be eating breakfast at 10:10 a.m. sharp. Who meets for breakfast at such a weird time? But once again, I didn’t say anything and just went with the flow.

As we were getting ready to walk out the door, Sharon said she just got a text from Laurie and the breakfast was pushed back to 10:15. Was NASA running this breakfast?

I just shrugged and said, “whatever.”

When we arrived at our favorite local breakfast joint, the owner, Gabe, who I’ve known for nearly 25 years, greeted me with a big hug and wished me a very happy birthday.

I leaned over to Sharon and whispered, “How the heck did Gabe know it was my birthday?”

Without missing a beat, Sharon said I was losing my mind and that the last time I saw Gabe I told him all about my big upcoming birthday.

I couldn’t recall ever telling him about my birthday, but I didn’t think much of it, especially since I don’t remember a lot of things.

As we were led to our table I scanned the dining room for Laurie and her husband, but as we turned a corner I was instead met with a very loud chorus of “Happy Birthday!”

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My entire family was seated at a large table, waiting to surprise me. All my kids, daughters-in-law, grandkids, friends and my wonderful 99-year-old mother were there.

The only thing missing were their dogs.

Spread out on the table were about two dozen colorful birthday balloons.

It all looked magnificent.

After a while the shock wore off and we decided it was time to order breakfast, even though it was now almost lunchtime.

After we finished breakfast, it was time to open the presents scattered on the table.

My first present was from my youngest granddaughter, Brielle. With her own money, she went out and bought me the largest Nestlé Crunch Bar that stores sell.

Somehow she knew this was my all-time favorite chocolate bar. But I guess she forgot to tell my oldest grandson Max, because later when we got home Max ate the entire bar.

I also received six T-shirts, which makes me the proud owner of over 300 T-shirts.

I have this habit of rotating my clothes when I wear them, so some of my T-shirts are over 30 years old. But they’re in excellent shape because of my rotation policy. Sharon thinks I do this just to drive her crazy. Maybe there’s some truth to what she says.

When breakfast was done they brought out a pancake birthday cake. After blowing out the candles and singing “Happy Birthday,” pancake cake was served to all.

I’ll admit that Sharon pulled off a great surprise. Thanks to her I had one of the best days of my life. Too bad this party had to come to an end.

Why can’t all days be just the way this day was? Well, I can dream, can’t I?

About Ernie Zimmerman

Ernie, a retired New York City police officer and Vietnam veteran, takes life nice and easy in Wellington, where he and his wife Sharon have lived for more than 30 years.

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