I’d been planning my Las Vegas themed 40th Birthday party for months. Elvis was booked eight months in advance. At six months I’d booked the location and five months the guest list was confirmed. I’d even booked to have my make up done. All I had to order was the food and figure out what I was going to wear.
Then it happened. The Coronavirus pandemic. I watched the news in January in disbelief. I didn’t believe the UK Government would lock the Country down so I carried on planning for the party in April. In February I was looking at the best deals for party food and set about choosing a party outfit but something was telling me to hold off buying anything.
Then March came, the Government began to announce measures to place the Country into lockdown. On the 19th of March, three weeks before it was due, I took the decision to cancel the party. I reluctantly cancelled Elvis and four days later the lockdown began.
I told myself the party was postponed not cancelled, this made it a little easier to accept.
As the day approached I tried to remain positive. My Husband said he would cook my favourite lamb dinner and we could celebrate as a family of four.
On the day, I woke to many messages; “Happy birthday, sorry we couldn’t celebrate as planned”, “I hope you have an amazing day, we’ll celebrate again”, “Gutted your parties been cancelled but we will have a huge celebration when it’s all over”. Despite all the celebratory messages, I still felt a little down.
So, what do you do when you’re feeling down? You get up, put some makeup on, do your hair, wear your best dress and smile! And that’s exactly what I did.
As I made my way downstairs the doorbell rang. Our friends Jackie & Jerry came round with a card and flowers. They left them at the door and stood at the end of my drive. As I opened the door, they sang Happy Birthday! And an added treat was my Birthday Card, it had Elvis on the front.
Later the doorbell rang again, this time it was my neighbours, Andy & Louise. They too left a card, a bottle of prosecco and flowers at my door. They too sang Happy Birthday from the end of my drive.
Then another surprise, my Dad delivered flowers and a card to my door. The messages, facetime and phone calls continued throughout the day. It was my special day and I really did feel special.
After our lamb dinner and a delicious bottle of red, we sat down to watch a movie. Twenty minutes into the movie my phone rang, it was a number I didn’t recognise;
“Is that Jody?”
Suddenly I was being serenaded with ‘The Wonder of You’. It was Elvis. Elvis was singing to me on my Birthday. My day was complete. It was arranged by my Mum and Husband as they knew how much I was looking forward to him performing at my party.
Am I still upset that my party was cancelled? No. I know I can re-schedule for next year. I know it will be an even bigger celebration and people will appreciate it just that little bit more after spending so long apart.
Instead of a five-hour party, I had a full day of celebrations and surprises. All of which I will remember. And I still get to have a party next year.