Secret Keeper #91 – The Birthday


“Bernice, I said no more birthdays, and I meant it! Are you trying to start a fire?” Benjamin Arnold Buddee was turning ninety years old today. It was a huge milestone and his wife wanted to celebrate. He preferred to spend it quietly.  Bernice could still make her way around the kitchen and wanted Benny to know it. She also took pride on being able to fix up a good tasting, beautiful cake.

Benny tried to keep that scowl on his face, but it was impossible. Bernice knew he would never get angry over something like this, but he did love to tease her.The love of his life had that well known expression of pride that she donned every time she tried to please him. And she had always tried to please Benny. The two had a long and loving relationship for over sixty years, and this day was no exception. Sixty years and four children, twelve grandchildren and two great grandkids on the way. Benny had to smile thinking of what a blessing his family was. Most of them were probably on the way to join them already.

Bernice had lighted the candles for just a second so that when everyone was ready for the big moment, they would be quicker to flame. After blowing them out she made sure the rest of the party essentials were set up. The Road Runner plates and napkins were difficult to find locally. She was fortunate to have her granddaughter help order them online. The cartoon characters were Benny’s favorite and when you’re turning ninety you need a bit of fun. Bernice was arranging everything just so when it occurred to her to check their supply of ice cream. Opening the freezer she was reminded that her doctor had put a ban on the sweet dessert after her last checkup. No matter, it was Benny’s treat, his favorite Coffee Supreme. He was in no danger of heart disease, even at ninety. He had been a laborer all his working life and still in great physical condition.

The door flew open as the smaller children burst in to give their grandpa a birthday hug. Bernice smiled contentedly and took a seat in the rocker. She was tired and decided to let the rest of the family finish the decorations.

Benny came over and leaned in to give Bernice a peck on the cheek. “You’re always right, Bernie, thank you.”


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