Saturday, August 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Thoroughly Modern Millie!!

Millie Garfield turned 81 on Friday, August 18th!!! To celebrate this wonderful ladies birthday, I thought I’d write her a wee poem. This poem is a celebration of all that Millie has taught me through her humor, wit and inability to open things!!
I LOVE YOU MODERN MILLIE!! HAVE A FANTASTIC EIGHTY-FIRST YEAR AND MANY HAPPY RETURNS!!! Please click on the title of this post to visit Millie's blog! It's well worth the click! (I am stealing all the exclamation points in the universe in this post. I hope that there are no documents going without because of my exclamation point hoarding, but a birthday is an event that requires many!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I. How to smile in the face of adversity, and keep on keeping on. Thank-you,Millie, for coming into my life through your blog at a time when adversity had me down, and teaching me that no adversity in life can make me feel useless without my express permission.

II. Always make light of those things that frustrate us, particularly if it is possible to do so in video format…

III. Particularly when said video has the chance of including Millie spraying her glasses with a perfume she previously couldn’t open. Thank-you Millie, for teaching me that laughing at the little frustrations in life robs them of their power to upset us.

IV. Participate in all the wonderful things in life, missing nothing and enjoying every day you are given. Millie, thank you for having so much zest for life, and in this way, teaching me how to love my own.

V. You can be beautiful and elderly at the same time, particularly if your name is Millie Garfield, who, at eighty-one still looks as though she's in her mid-fifties! (Oil of Olay, eat your heart out!!) Thank-you, Millie, for teaching me that age and beauty are not mutually exclusive entities!

VI. Bring a smile with you wherever you go. It is the most important thing any of us will ever wear, and lights up the faces of those around you. Thank-you, Millie, for showing me, through the power of your own beautiful smile, how incredibly infectious a good mood can be.

VII. Instead of lamenting about the complications of today’s world, smile and remember a simpler time where Green Mansions and a driver made for all the laughter and love in the world. Millie, thank-you for teaching me that
remembering beauty is far more important than lamenting inevitabilities.

VIII. Recall the beautiful memories of a loved one that’s passed over instead of dwelling on the pain of having to say good-bye to that person. This keeps them alive in your heart and strengthens your soul. Thank-you, Millie, for teaching me how to let go with love, and so keep those dear to us with us forever in spirit.

IX. The past is like an old photo album, and, just like a photo album, it should only be taken out and looked at if you can remember the events and people contained therein fondly and with tenderness. Millie, thank-you for showing me that the only memories worth keeping are the ones that fill my heart with gladness.

X. Health and happiness are choices, not circumstance. If carrying eighty-one years doesn’t stop Millie, than crutches and a bad back sure as heck aren’t going to stop me!!Thank-you, Millie for teaching me that the strength of my spirit is my choice, and mine alone!

XI. Daily life can get all of us down, but daily laughing can just as easily bring us back up again. Millie Garfield makes me laugh as much as the cat that shares her last name. Thank-you, Millie, for bringing so much laughter into my life.

XII. As long as you have a working mind and loving heart, you are never alone in the world. Thank you for teaching me the value of myself, Millie; until you and your blog came into my life; it was a commodity I devalued far too

XIII. You may not be able to control all the events in your life, but you can sure control how you react to them. Thank-you, Millie, for teaching me that happiness is not a destination; it’s the way you travel.

XIV. Make the statements you feel you need to make with love and kindness. You never know when what you have to say will be the exact thing someone else needs to hear. Thank you, Millie, for teaching me that speaking my mind doesn’t have to mean turning the air blue, and in so doing, giving me the gift of a lot
more power and class.

XV. In all things, to thine own self be true. Thank-you, Millie, for just being you, and in so doing, giving me the strength to do the same.

XVI. Love is the most powerful force in all the world. If you love all things, all things you love will be softened by your touch. Thank-you, Millie, for teaching me to be a little softer, and give more love in my writing. You have changed my writing style for the better, and my heart for the best.

XVII. Let others love you, it will enhance all you all and all you do. Thank-you, Millie, for reminding me to let others into my life. Before you came along, my anger over my circumstances led me to shut people out of my life. You
have helped me to re-open my heart and soul. Thank-you for this wonderful gift, Millie...words can not express how it has changed me.

XVIII. In all things, let there be a life lesson. Thank-you, Millie, for your ability to find the lessons in every day life, and in so doing, teaching me to do the same.

XIX. Each thing in life is neither good nor bad, it is merely a challenge sent to teach guide you. Rejoice in these challenges, for they have created the wonderful person you are! Thank-you, Millie, for teaching me to accept my disability with grace; to learn from it rather than loathe it. You have made my life rich again.

For all these wonderful gifts Millie has given me through her poignant writing, her witty videos and her fun-loving nature, this poem seems rather a sparse return. Millie has faced much in her eighty-one years, overcoming her many challenges in life with a grace few can manage. She has had losses in her life that would have left many gasping for breath, proclaiming bitterly “I can’t do it!!” Yet, never once have I read an entry in her blog that so much as alludes to defeat. Defeat is not a word in Millie’s vocabulary. She has lived an extraordinary life simply because she has touched so very many of us with her hope, her laughter and her love. I cannot repay her for the many gifts and lessons she has given me at a time when I needed these lessons the most. I can, however, thank her from the very bottom of my heart and soul for giving me hope again, and teaching me that carrying on is all we can do; but carrying on with laughter and love is the best we can do. Happy Birthday, Millie!! It’s is such a pleasure to know you through your writing, and such a gift to read your blog. May you enjoy another eighty-one wonderful years, and may they all be filled with the same hope, love and laughter you have given your readers.

With much love and gratitude,

Yet another faithful Modern Millie Fan!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Millie Garfield stars in "I can't open it!"

I’m postponing my smoking rant, which seemed incredibly important the other day, to talk about someone that is a lot more important than some silly rant. The lady’s name is Millie Garfield, and she’s the oldest blogger on the Internet! (Though I certainly hope to look as young as she when in my eightieth year!!) I was first introduced to Millie Garfield’s blog ( shortly after finding out that I would be unable to walk without crutches again, likely for the rest of my life. At 27 (which is the young and virile age I was at that time) learning such a thing can be quite a blow. In addition, the fact that being in such a position incapacitates a person, and makes it difficult to go outside was downright depressing. Then came the beautiful morning I discovered Millie, and watched my first in the funniest on the Internet series, “I can’t open it.” It wasn't the post of the day, but with some digging, I had found it!!

At that time, it was Nescafe, (and I am with her on this one, because I had the same silly problem with that particular container!) and I laughed until tears rolled down my cheeks. Since that time, there have been many more episodes of “I can’t open it”, each funnier and more poignant than the last!! I recall telling a good friend of mine about Millie Garfield, and having her look at me somewhat incredulously, “What on earth would you have in common with an eighty year old lady??” The inquiry was a fair one for most twenty-eight year olds; I suppose…but not this one. One of my best friends in this world is 67, another is 58, and I love them both to pieces because of their wit and wisdom. Millie is certainly the most advanced in age, (and, by default, also wisdom!) and of course I adore her blog!! I’m suffering from the same aches and pains in my life as most seniors do, number one, and number two, I’m really an old lady at heart!! (Which, by the way, I say with a great deal of pride. It means I’ve gotten past the partying and general tom foolery of youth, and moved on to the wisdom of age!!)

Recently, that line of thinking got tested when I was faced with someone I love very much dealing with a problem I couldn’t handle. Like any good old lady, I turned that problem over to people better able to deal with it, said a lot of prayers for my sweet friend (who will probably never speak to me again because I had to tell someone about how bad things really were getting for him) and cried myself to sleep that night. Why? Because I’m not young anymore in spirit, and I’m unable to bear the burden of not telling someone that could help and having this person lose their life. It’s difficult to lose a friend, though…especially when you are in a position like this, where it’s difficult to make new ones. I hope he understands someday that I did what I did with love, not malice, and that I still think of him daily and have to wipe tears from my eyes.

But enough of that, as my keyboard is getting wet from tears talking about it, and I fear I’m going to electrocute myself!! Millie made me feel hope again, and forced me to realize that life is what you make of it. If I don’t fight hard for life, I won’t have a life worth living. She makes me laugh, and, sometimes, she too brings a tear to my eye; but it’s a different kind of tear. It’s the kind of tear that makes you nod your head in agreement, and feel refreshed for having cried it. In honor of her, and her wonderful blog, I’ve made a decision about my own. Starting today, dear readers, this blogger is going to find adjectives that don’t involve turning the air blue, and causing the more sensitive of readers to shake their heads. Why? Because Millie Garfield is truthful, funny and real without ever having to swear once, and it’s time for me to make that last transition into adulthood. Besides, one day soon, my daughter will stumble onto this blog, and I’d rather her not adopt some of the language contained herein!

For those of you that haven’t had the opportunity to visit Millie Garfield’s blog, please give yourself the pleasure and head on over to . At the moment, she is featuring one of my favorite things about her blog, the “I can’t open it” series!!! And Millie, if you’re reading this, please know that I owe you much in my life today, you’ve helped me through some very difficult times with your words of wisdom, and you’ve inspired me to write my own experiences. Feather, I still love you dearly, and you will always be another blogger I look to for cheer and comfort…but I’ve done several Heather bits now, and it’s time for age to come before brash!:)

Lots of love to all my readers, and to Millie Garfield, the oldest and definitely one of the funniest bloggers today!!