No-one. No-one. No-one loved her birthday like Flo loved her birthday.
Everything stopped on Flo’s birthday and everyone celebrated the day. It had to be the day… March 9th. If you stopped over the day before, the day after, or anywhere around the day, it simply didn’t count. I think Flo loved her day because it was a day for her. It wasn’t that Flo didn’t do all the cooking and baking and party-making that day. She did. Flo was a party-girl… and she loved the preparation as much as the celebration. She loved lots of decorations, lots of food, and especially her family. And everyone knew that Flo loved lots of the color yellow.
Yesterday was Flo’s birthday. March 9th. She would have been 91. Flo did not make her 90th birthday here on earth, but Barry and I decided last year to celebrate her birthday each year with our family. With Flo as our guest, last night, we went to one of her most favorite restaurants of all, Tweet’s Balzano’s in Bristol, and we celebrated. We shared stories of Flo, we toasted Flo, we laughed and we celebrated her birthday. All of our children and grandchildren were there and this means the world to us. We know what it means to Flo.
Each day, I wear one special piece of jewelry that belonged to Flo. Some days it’s a pair of earrings. Some days its a necklace or a bracelet. Yesterday, I wore her rhinestone F pin… and it sparkled like sun on the beautiful day that seemed made just for Florence Dorothy Bicho Couto.
But what amazed me almost speechless at our little birthday dinner last night was a little gift to Barry and me from our oldest grandchild, Taylor. It is a lovely glass egg with lovely yellow “grass” inside, and inside the yellow grass are lovely bubbles. I know Taylor has a special bond with NanaFlo. Taylor is NanaFlo’s first great-grandchild and Nana longed for this gift of children of children of children. (Little did NanaFlo know that within 7 years of Taylor she would gather a little brood of 15 marvelous gifts of great-grandchildren… 3 girls and then 12 boys in a row!) But what I didn’t think Taylor was old enough to remember is that Flo often came to a party, a dinner, an event or a holiday… and especially at her own birthday celebration… with gifts for everyone else. These gifts were things that Flo loved… things like teapots and trinkets and costume jewelry and photographs and photo albums filled with wonderful photos. Gifts. Gifts that I came to cherish. Gifts from her home and from her heart. Taylor had taken the time to write a lovely message and poem to NanaFlo, and to find something on this 91st birthday of NanaFlo’s to make Barry and me happy. Flo came to that little party right through Taylor, with her gift and her gift of yellow.
It is said that when I give, I give myself. That being true, that little Birthday Egg, as I will always call it, is a timeless reminder that Flo is still giving… and her beautiful tradition of giving has touched yet another generation. Flo’s manner of giving just keeps on giving!
WE KNOW THERE WAS A GIANT PAH-TY IN HEAVEN YESTERDAY, MOM… but look what wonder and love you’ve made here on earth. WE LOVE YOU… and we hope your 91st birthday was your best ever! We will always remember this day through THE BIRTHDAY EGG, and it will be at every birthday to come!