Actually, Millie's birthday is tomorrow, Saturday, but we are celebrating her 93 years here at Time Goes By today – and what a celebration it is this year.
In early July, Millie was due at Massachusetts General Hospital for surgery but the night before check-in, her wonderful son Steve and his equally terrific wife Carol took her to dinner at Scampo, a fine restaurant in the Liberty Hotel in Boston.
After dinner, Steve caught Millie on camera in her hotel room looking much more like a woman having what might have been a mini-vacation with her family instead of facing surgery.
As Steve explained to me, Millie had a minimally-invasive procedure called a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR in medical parlance) which is done through tiny openings that leave all chest bones in place.
Millie got through that admirably and I was glad to hear her patented Millie Garfield laugh when we spoke on the telephone only two days later.
Recovery went well and on 13 July, Steve and Carol took Millie to rehab. Throughout the entire “adventure”, hospital and rehab, Steve took a lot a institutional food photos that look pretty good to me. Here's one of them:
And here is a shot of Carol with Millie in rehab:
Millie didn't linger in rehab and she was home in what seemed to me to be just a few days and she has been doing fine since then.
As I have mentioned in the past, Millie is my oldest internet friend and we have been phoning and emailing for at least 12, maybe 14 years, even visiting in person once or twice when I still lived on the east coast.
We've shared a lot of laughs together all these years, often about the things that go wrong as we get older. She likes to remind me that compared to her, I'm not really there yet; she's got 16 years on me and says I ain't seen nothin' yet. Oy, I can't wait.
Whatever is to be in the coming years, Millie's taught me the best way to cope, always, is with laughter.
Meanwhile, what's a birthday party without games and for the past couple of years, we have been celebrating Millie's by adding up all our ages in the comments. Here's how I explained it last year, updated for 2018:
"Take the number of Millie's years, 93. Add my years, 77, and we've got 170. Now, the next one of you, in the comments, should add your age to that, then the next of you add to that total and then the next and so on.
"Of course, because more than one person will comment at a time, the total will get all screwed up – but that's part of the fun at birthday parties, just being silly.
Happy Big Deal 93 years, Millie. I so treasure our friendship and I am privileged to know you.