My Birthday Buddy

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Cindy Whiteman (pictured above) is one of my best friends and she’s also my birthday buddy.

Cindy and I both turned 57 today, we were both born at Hackley Hospital and we both spent most of our lives in Muskegon, but we didn’t meet until we were in our 40s when Cindy and her husband Paul moved across the street from us on Robinhood Drive.

Cindy is the type of person everyone wants to be around because she is so nice and so sincere. She’s also a great listener and full of compassion. Even though she has a tender heart, she’s also a strong woman and I learn from her every time we see each other. Cindy is always game to try new things and is so much fun, especially when she giggles. Although, to our knowledge, our moms never met each other, we’re both certain that if they did they’d have become great friends.

A few years ago, Cindy’s mom suffered a stroke and ended up in a nursing home for rehabilitation. Joyce was no longer able to speak or walk very well and wasn’t able to do everyday tasks on her own. Cindy and her family were determined to bring Joyce home to be reunited with their dad who had just turned 90. When Cindy first told me about her plan, I thought it would be so difficult for everyone involved. In fact, at first I thought she was taking on too much, but I never told her that. Cindy’s family worked hard to turn Joyce and Tony’s house into a handicap accessible home. She and her family set up a schedule to have their cousin Darlene come in to help care for and organize her parents’ lives. They also hired help and scheduled meals for her parents so they could be together. Cindy did all of this while working 60 hours a week at her job with Verizon. Joyce has been reunited with Tony for almost two years now and the family is making it work. Cindy’s amazing love for her parents and her willingness to see past Joyce’s disability is simply beautiful.

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This year Cindy is working out of town so we won’t be celebrating our birthdays together. Pictured above are the friends we usually celebrate all of our birthdays with and have for many years. Our birthday group is Paul and Cindy Whiteman, Terry and Ellen Brennan, and Dick and Patti Winsemius.

Cindy is my amazing birthday buddy and I love her so much.

Happy birthday, Cindy!

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