Celebrating You on my 60th Birthday

I dream of throwing a big birthday bash bringing together the people from around the globe who have touched my life. Since that is not possible, you are invited to my virtual 60th birthday celebration. The guest of honor is not me but you. You who have stood by me during the hard times. You who have shared my highs and carried me during the lows. You who have given sense to my existence.

Today I am whooping it up for those people who have sustained me at different ages and stages during my past 6 decades.

I raise my glass to my family of birth, my parents and siblings. You have seen me at my worst and loved me unconditionally. You forgave my sharp words, ignored my flaws and overlooked my shortcomings.

Skål, to the nieces, nephews and cousins from coast to coast Oklahoma to Maryland and as far away as Norway who welcome me with open arms just because we shared the same ancestry.

Santé to my family by love, to the Frenchman who helped me transition to coach when injury ended my playing career, who wiped away tears after another health setback, who believed in me always especially when I most doubted myself.

Cheers to my children, who filled my mommy days with joy and adventure and now as young adults bring comfort and companionship. My daughter sensing my despair wraps me in a warm hug. My son seeing discouragement in my eyes offers to walk and talk. Each one reciprocating those simple acts of love that nourish our soul.

Prost to friends scattered across the world, who shared snippets of my life from my Sterling High School classmates, to my Illinois State University teammates and roommates, to my American, British, French, German, Swiss and other friends. To those folks who I may not have seen for years, but whose memory still makes me smile and fills my heart with happiness.

Salud to the members of my international community – colleagues, students, athletes – who taught me so much about tolerance for other cultures and customs. Your enthusiasm for learning fueled my weary soul through dark days of illness where our next lesson, practice, game was the only motivation dragging me out of bed.

Hail to my healthcare professionals specialists from Eagle River to Minong from Minnetonka to Geneva who believed me and kept searching outside the box for answers to help ease my pain.

Cin cin to members of my writing community who share the burning desire to communicate the old fashioned way, word-by-word. And to my faithful readers who give my writing meaning and whose comments offer inspiration.

February 28th may commemorate the date of my birth, but today I raise my glass to you, you who shaped my life. Because of your support, your loyalty, your love, I am still here raising Cain, full of « piss and vinegar » in my 60th year.

Posted in family, inspiration, relationships.


  1. Bonne anniversaire chère Pat ???????????????? …what a beautiful tribute to all the loving support you have received across your six decades on this planet. It’s many years since I saw you, but I still treasure our friendship and enjoy connecting across the miles with you in different ways. Love, hugs and gluten-wheat free cake for you on your special day xxx

    • Thanks Rach. I am so grateful that you have stayed in contact with your wise words from afar and also so I can follow long distance watching your beautiful daughters grow into such fine accomplished young women. I can’t believe that you remembered I go gluten free although I must admit I cheated on my birthday.

  2. Dear Pat,
    herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag und alles Gute für dein neues Lebensjahrzehnt wünschen Dir
    Tom und Susanne

  3. Happy Happy 60th, Pat — you look amazingly WELL for one who’s suffered so much physical pain! Perhaps it’s true that surrounding yourself with good friends, a healthy lifestyle, and positive thoughts add up to a life well-lived. I hope this milestone birthday will be the beginning of a wonderful year for you — enjoy a slice of cake for me, okay?!!

    • Thanks Debbie. Focusing on the good stuff helps keep the pain at bay and I am sure my days are a lot brighter because of the positive people in my life including you.

  4. What a wonderful perspective on turning 60- to thank and celebrate those who have shaped, nurtured and touched your life. Happy birthday, my bright and beautiful big sis. Thank you for the light you shine on all of us. I love you.

  5. Happy Birthday, Pat! As another Patricia who has crossed that threshold, you are so right to embrace it. I love your always inspiring words of wisdom!

    • Thanks Patty. You sure are leading a blazing trail for me to follow into the next decade. Though I doubt I will ever be able to hike as far as you have, I will continue to wave that banner for the human rights that you have spent your lifetime endorsing and defending.

  6. Happy birthday, Patty Baby! Late but very warm greetings and our best wishes to you from down under – Kangaroo Island – where we are currently traveling
    A big hug, Bette and Thomas

    • Thanks Bette. I still remember when Birte and I celebrated together and you surprised me by painting my room in Stauffenberg Strasse. Glad you having such a wonderful adventure with the kangaroos and koala bears.

  7. Here’s to you, dear Pat! Happy Birthday! I am so glad we have become virtual friends and I hold out hope that one day we will meet IRL.

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