GRAFTON—While social distancing orders continue to be in effect throughout the state, and COVID-19 has much of the nation at a standstill some of life’s most important events are still occurring all around us, including milestone birthdays.
Recently, Jacqueline (Jackie) Phillips, a resident at Taylor Health Care Center hit her own milestone birthday turning 94 years old on April 7.
Phillips’s daughter, Kay Baker, shared that her mother would have typically celebrated the day with her identical twin sister Bobbie. Unfortunately, Bobbie passed away several weeks ago, making this the first year Phillips would celebrate on her own.
“I knew we couldn’t physically be there with her for her own health and safety, but I knew we had to do something for her,” said Baker.
With the assistance of Taylor Health Care Center staff members, the family was able to commemorate the special day in an unconventional way.
Baker alongside of her husband, sister Terry and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren gather outside of the front lobby windows to see their beloved mother and grandmother.
“They wheeled her up to the window were we all gathered and gave her a phone that we were able to call her on,” Baker explained.
She said that each of her loved ones was able to talk to get and send her birthday wishes, and that together they all sang Happy Birthday to her.
“The staff informed us that if we sent cards in they would have to keep them concealed for 48-hours, so instead we read all of her cards to her,” shared Baker.
Because they had to forego the traditional birthday cake, the family also made up goody bags containing some of Phillips’s favorite candies to make the day even sweeter.
Despite the nature of the unique celebration, Baker said her mother was overcome with emotions of love, and deeply enjoyed the opportunity to see her family even if it were just through the glass.
“She really loved it. Just having us all near. It meant a lot to all of us and to her. 94 is quit an amazing milestone birthday. Hopefully, we can have a bigger more conventional celebration for her 95th, but for now, this was perfect,” Baker expressed.
Phillips echoed Bakers sentiments saying that she was very happy to see her family on her big day.
“We just want to thank all of those at the healthcare center that made it possible for us to celebrate her. They take such good care of her always and we are extremely thankful,” Baker voiced.
From all of us here at the Mountain Statesman, we wish a very Happy 94th Birthday to Jackie!