It’s My Birthday

imagesIt’s been a week of celebration. When you’re not always sure you’re going to have another one, make sure you enjoy it. And so I did.

There was a surprise party with mussels and beet salad in my sister’s garden in the sunshine. And of course there was cake… Whole Foods chocolate cake the clerk said was “so good, it could cure cancer!” And a lemon cake with a refreshing tang, and Brenda Lea’s meringue banana torte — a miraculous creation.

My 90-year-old mom was there… as she was there at the beginning, and my sisters, a brother-in-law, a niece, my son and there were friends representing many parts of my life. (Some people were missing… so sorry you could not make it!) Most had not met each other before. As I recall how I’ve met people in my life and recognize what keeps us friends over many years, I realize my life is enriched by many special people

Heather is a good friend and a part of our family that even divorce cannot shake. At our children’s preschool more than 20 years ago, Marilyn and I discovered our lives intermingled with her work, Wade’s company, and my old office on Pender Street.


Nancy and Brenda Lea are good friends of many years.

Brenda Lea and I worked together at Expo 86, writing advertising and guidebooks to welcome the world to Vancouver. We’ve been friendthrough writing, reading, children, marriage, and now with her husband Charlie, finding me a new home (later this month). Nancy and I were neighbours and part of a young mothers’ group in West Vancouver.  The “babies” are all 24-years old now and the mothers are still friends.

Val is from the outdoors club and together we encourage newcomers to join hikes and plan getaways to the British Columbia wilderness. Shelagh is a new friend and we belong to a club that neither was keen to join. We find our way through this cancer business as best we can, frequently with laughter.

Laurence is my special person who pulled off the surprise celebration with a little help, I hear, from some of those friends and family. Thank you for honouring me and putting the people of my life together.

This birthday was so great, I can’t wait until next year!

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12 Responses to It’s My Birthday

  1. Chris Mann says:

    May joy continue to surround you!


  2. Mary Louise Doherty says:

    Glad to hear of the wonderfully warm friend-filled day celebrating your birthday. A little late in the day but a very happy birthday to you. ml


  3. Maureen says:

    Happy (belated) Birthday!

    Your blog is always inspiring me to live life to the fullest.
    Thank you…Maureen


  4. Maureen says:

    Hey… It’s not ‘belated’ at all. Hope you are still enjoying your special day!


  5. Happy Birthday Rochelle, I’m happy to say that I was there at the beginning of it all and that you were the little sister I never had. Life throws a lot of curve balls that we don’t expect so I’m happy to hear that you are healing and able to experience the joys of life. I wishes I was there to give you a big birthday hug. Sandra


    • rvanhalm says:

      Hello Big Sister! I’m so happy to hear you thought of me as the little sister. I remember visiting your house… your mom had the first aluminum Christmas tree I’d ever seen. We played on the piano in the basement. You had a neat chair in the kitchen with a folding step. Your back garden was like a park. Happy memories. Look forward to seeing you again. Rochelle


  6. Ramy says:

    Yes it was an awesome afternoon. Next birthday here we come!


  7. deb says:

    Sounds like a wonderful — and well-deserved — celebration. A belated happy birthday to you from Philadelphia! Wishing you many more happy times! Deb


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