Birthdays are different right now

The Story

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – These are different times right now. We’ve had to change the way we live. But we’ve also found new ways to do old things. The COVID-19 virus may have put the brakes on birthday parties and family gatherings, but it is not stopping us from finding new ways to celebrate!

Drive by celebrations have been happening all over the Tennessee valley. Friends did just that for Andrienne Lundy on her birthday.

“They made mine even better,” she told us. “I was going to have a good day. And they made it 10 times a thousand times better and I love all my friends for doing this. This is the best ever.”

They’ve become special moments we’ll remember down the road. Birthdays are supposed to be your day! EMS Captain Danielle Watson told us, “A 5-year-old little boy, whose birthday is today. And due to the coronavirus, he’s not able to have a birthday party.”

But his mom made sure it was special.

“We’re gonna drive through, show this little guy some love,” Captain Watson told us. “And drop off a few gifts so that hopefully in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, he can enjoy his day.”

He did. “That meant a lot and they didn’t have to do that,” Tammy Congo told us. “To do all that, I’m sure didn’t expect that.”

He didn’t. Cole thanked everybody.

It’s become part of the new norm. And some kids will be talking about this birthday for years to come. Jacob Worden is one of them.

“I just called some of my friends,” his mom Kimberly Dyer said. “They showed up and we had the Huntsville Fire Department and the Rescue Squad come out, so they surprised him. He had no idea, so he was completely surprised by that.”

It’s tough trying to explain to a child why they can’t have a party with their friends. But somehow, the birthday gets better when a police officer takes time to come by to help you celebrate by letting you check out his ride.

To many of us who have celebrated a birthday during this pandemic, a surprise birthday parade is the perfect sweet 16 gift.

“It’s just this virus and everything. I don’t get to do a lot,” Stepheny Smith told us on her birthday. “I looked forward to doing this birthday my whole life and this was a big day for me. I was really down about today but then pretty happy now.”

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. Every birthday should be one to remember, especially if you make it 99 years like Bernice Ginn of Florence. It’s enough to make you want to cut a rug.

“I never had a lesson in my life, but I’ve been dancing since I was about five years old,” she told us. “I like the twist and things like that.”

For some of us, 2020 may just be one of the best birthdays we’ve ever had. When my phone rang on my birthday, my daughters and grandkids were on the other end. They sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. It was the best gift I could have gotten that day. And next year, we’re going to party like it’s 2021!  

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