I’m in Panera at 6 a.m. on a normal Saturday sprawled in my favorite back booth when suddenly four very enthusiastic young ladies line up to sing Happy Birthday. I thought my bagel and I would climb under the table.
How did they know?
My fault, for adding it to my profile online when registering my Panera card. How else are you supposed to get your birthday pastry.
I’ve come to know them all seeing them most mornings, and despite my discomfort, was very touched by their efforts.
They also sang like little angels in aprons and caps.
Two other customers moseyed over to wish me well while Audrey brought me a piece of carrot cake to take home.
I thought a lot about this, how a group of girls I hardly know truly have become part of the fabric of my daily life.
You think it’s only your family and close friends, but that isn’t so. It’s the shoemaker and dry cleaner, the deli man and grocer….and the young librarian who is no more. You see them every day, and when they don’t see you, they wonder where you are.
I hadn’t been there in a couple of days so Tina the cashier said, where you been, funny not seein ya…we was worried.
The impersonal become personal…caring enough to sing before the sun is even up all in your honor.
Despite wanting to bury this aging head deep in the sand, I felt blessed to be remembered.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSANNAH…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU