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Surprise! – Approaching 50 and Fabulous
Aging Bereavement Happiness Humor Little Moments Midlife Moms Parenting Positivity


September 12, 2016

Lou and I left the house, lunch was on the menu. Bruno’s was the destination.  They make an amazing seafood pizza. Clams, shrimp, scallops, and delicious.  

I was enticed by the thought and hungry. Well, I am always hungry and today is no different.  I can pack it in. 

It’s Saturday and it’s just us.  Luciano and Joey are both out with friends.  I toss on shorts, white tea shirt and flip-flops.  It is hot outside for September. Too hot to wear any makeup for lunch. I have to get dressed later for church, lets forgo any additional accoutrements. 

What if I get food or sweat on in the dress I need to wear to 5pm mass?  I just got it back from the dry cleaner. 

Taking one last look in mirror, I decide to put on sandals.  My flip-flops are a bit “too casual” for lunch at a nice restaurant.  

I was my usual weekend self, carefree and laid back.  I would have to come back and put on the uniform later. 

Little did I know, I was walking into my 50th Birthday Party.  

Couldn’t happen.  

There is no way Lou would be emotionally strong enough to do anything remotely like this.  It is too soon. Not my husband. 

Shouts of “SURPRISE” rang out in unison. Peeking inside the door, the room was full of my closest family and friends. Shock quickly set in.


Kiara in her 5 year old adorableness runs up to me and says “Happy Birthday, can I play on your phone?”

I just yelled out “holy fuck” in a room full of my family and a 5 year old. 

“Of course, Sweetie, one second. Give me a hug.”  

Turning back to Lou, “Are you shitting me?  Look at me!  I don’t even have any makeup on. I am a mess!” I raise my hand to give him a whack, which our cousin Mike captures on camera. 

All my friends and family coax me in the room. My knees are shaking. Shock is quickly setting in.  

It’s real. My nearest and dearest are there to celebrate my birthday.  My 50th birthday. 

But how?  Why?

I am not supposed to have parties. 

Kisses and hugs abound, I am being given a party. 


How the hell does Lou have this in him?  

The man who only a month ago said that this year we won’t have a Christmas tree, which I understand. 

Nor do I want, Christmas isn’t same without Anthony. 

What the hell is happening??

“Lou, look at me!  I have no makeup on and am a mess!!! What the hell??”

Friends turn to me and say “no worries, you look great!”

Everyone says that… 

I wish I had a little blush on…


Everything is a blur as I walk around and greet my guests.

Lou’s brother Sal is guiding the event, in his usual fashion. Sal is the pen-ultimate party planner.  I know he gave Lou tons of support planning my day.   

Sal steers me back to Lou’s side. 

Lou looks at me, “you deserved a great birthday, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I debated every day whether or not to go through with it.”

“I am floored, thank you so much.”  

“Anthony wanted me to do this for you. I asked him and the boys. Everyone wanted you to have a party.”

Sal quickly intervenes.  “I made sure Lou brought you a dress.”

“Oh Yes,” Lou says loudly, “I brought you a dress and girdle in the car.” 

Beatrice says from the table “Not a girdle, Spanx!”  

Out he goes to the car for the dress, and my Spanx. 

Everyone is mentioning my dress and girdle. I am still in shock that today is even happening. 

My secrets are no more. Everyone has seen me barefaced, knows I have Spanx (that Lou can find easily), what’s next?  

Whatever, I am thankful they know my secrets.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.    

Anthony was smiling down on us. I know he would want me to enjoy my birthday. 

The tears may flow later, I so wish he was here.  I miss him so much. 

Sal grabs me to start taking photos with my guests.

I smile happily for each picture.  

Despite losing so much that can never be replaced, I am still very blessed. 

And my Niece Jennifer loaned me her blush. 


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