S: Felicie: Fabulous at 80
1: Once upon a time there was a beautiful woman named Felicie, also known as Poutsi, and Lucy. She had an intelligent and extremely honourable husband, three wonderful children, and nine perfect grandchildren. She was a very, very lucky lady indeed. On the occasion of her 80th birthday, her fabulous family secretly worked together and created an extraordinary gift for her. Look inside...
2: Mom, Is it any surprise that I grew up loving music or that I'm sentimental? Is it genetic or is it because you took us to musicals and played music in the house all the time? I remember listening to the Pirates of Penzance, Sound of Music and Camelot, and grew up loving those old classics. I now pass it on to my kids who love musicals like The Lion King, Rent and Hairspray. All thanks to you! Unfortunately, making me watch movies like the Red Balloon made me a bit too sentimental and I now can cry watching Modern Family, but you can't win them all. You never went to school as your sister did. You never had the chance. Yet despite a lack of education, you are worldly-wise. You understand what's important in life and that's something you can't learn in school. You ma be able to discuss interest rates or do complex math, but she will be able to discuss more important things like the plot of a current movie or how best to raise kids. Happy 80th, I have a lot to be grateful to you for. Love, Allan
4: MOM -Fantastic Felicie! On April 5, 1957 you bestowed upon me the greatest gift of all...life to me, and, more importantly, you as my mom. As a young girl, I constantly marveled at how you were able to accomplish so much and so effortlessly. Shopping for groceries, maintaining the house, cooking gourmet dinners most nights, playing music, laughing and looking so beautiful and fashionable all the while. I was sure that you were a fairy princess just like in the stories that I read, or better still, the Queen of Belgium. As I grew up, I was grateful to you for teaching me the importance of enjoying the simple things, and treasuring each moment because life was a gift not to be wasted. I always wanted to be around you, so much so that I didn’t leave home until I was 30 and getting married! And even though I am now a mother myself, you continue to teach me new things and always look out for what’s best for me. The gifts you share with me, like your French language, amazing new recipes, and most importantly showing me the genuine way in which you relate to others. You also inspired me more than you’ll ever know when you decided to attend University as a very, very, very mature student. You have the uncanny ability to make everything you do appear so easy although I know how much of yourself you put into things. The words “no”, or “I can’t”, are not part of your vocabulary and you have always been there for me. I feel truly blessed to have you as my mom. There are no words to express how much I love you. Je t’ aime pour toujours!
5: Finally, thank you for showing me that 80 years old can be beautiful, fantastic, witty, energetic and sooooo stylish! Ann Howe! Love, Gloria
6: Mom – You are a truly beautiful person, in every sense of the word! You inspire me in so many ways – especially your ability to enjoy, and make the most of, every moment of every day. I am in awe of your unrelenting positive outlook on life, and how you always look for (and can find) the good in people, and the hope in the midst of despair. No matter how old I was, you always said to me: “these are the best years of your life – enjoy them, and don’t waste a moment!” I admire how well you live true to your own advice. Your unconditional love and unwavering support have comforted me throughout my life, especially during the difficult times. You have taught me so many valuable lessons about life and living – to dress well, to be patient, accepting, honest and kind, and to never fight with Allan and Gloria! I’m still working on the hair and makeup part!! It’s hard to believe you are 80. You certainly don’t look it! In fact, you make growing older look so damn easy! You have clearly perfected the recipe for living and aging well, and I will safeguard it together with the recipes you have shared with me for chicken soup, gefilte fish, cabbage rolls, carrots and peas, meat loaf, etc. etc. I treasure our Saturday lunches and look forward to many more years of sharing “large greek salad, mixed, with black bread toasted and coffee after” with you. I love you mom, with all my heart.
7: You’re such a classy lady Especially at “80” Always loving, generous and calm I’m so lucky you’re my mom! Love, Arlene
8: The other day you were talking about Joe Peretz – how he likes to joke, loves to dance, and most of all is always upbeat and lives in the moment. It’s funny because this is exactly how I would describe you to someone else. Ever since I can remember you have always been happy, positive and energetic. When I was younger I definitely didn’t have any other friends going to the Y with their grandmother for a step class or swimming at Inn on the Park. Probably what stands out most is the Friday night dinners – each family took turns going to your condo every three weeks. I loved your cooking so much that I would brag to my friends about my dinner plans. When the Fentons invited me to come on their rotation I thought I was the luckiest kid in the world. Now I realize that although I thought I was lucky to feast on such great chicken soup and (non-Kosher) shrimp, not every grandchild gets to spend so much time with their Bubby and I was really lucky for that. I hope you have a great 80th birthday, even though it would be hard to convince anyone who doesn’t know you that you’re a day over 60! Love, Aaron
10: When I describe Bubby to people, I talk about going to movies with her, going out for dinner with her, and gossiping with her. I tell people how hip she is; I describe someone with an incredible fashion sense and sense of adventure. Essentially, I talk about Bubby as if she were one of my girlfriends, and it is remarkable how much I am able to connect with her in that way. People are most amazed when I tell them that my Bubby can climb up a set of 50 stairs at the movie theatre in 2-inch heels! Yet what makes Bubby so special is her ability to find optimism in even the toughest situations. She is able to put everything into perspective, and understand that life is short so you just have to embrace what you have and be thankful every day. This relates to her generous nature, in that she constantly strives to do things for other people. She volunteered at Baycrest, not because she had to but because she truly wanted to brighten up the days of those who were needier than her. We had Friday night dinners not for religious reasons, but because Bubby wanted to gather together and cook for us so that we all enjoyed ourselves. Finally, the pride she has for her family is unmatched. At every dance recital, bar or bat mitzvah -- even when finding out one of us got good grades in school -- she was beyond honored. Bubby was, and always will be, gratified by our happiness and successes. Bubby, you’re not only my grandmother, but also a confidante and teacher. You mean so much to me and to all the grandchildren. I love you and hope you have the happiest of birthdays. You deserve it!! Love, Elana
12: Bubby, Thank you for being the best Bubby anybody could ever ask for. I will have lifelong memories of the amazing Friday night dinners we used to have. Your chicken soup and garlic bread would be on my mind all week and you would never fail to disappoint. You are so caring; I don't know if there are many Bubbies who put in such an effort and show so much love for their grandchildren. Whenever I see you it always makes my day. You are always so happy and caring, it inspires me to be the best person I can possibly be. Thanks for the being the best Bubby ever and I am excited to enjoy more great moments together in the future. Love, David
14: I had wanted to get my ears pierced for about two years before I was finally allowed to do so. I will never forget that day with Bubby. I am sure that she was even more excited for this day than I was, as I was the first granddaughter who wanted earrings. In the fall of 1998, we drove to Mark Lash on Eglinton Ave. Upon entering the store, I could not choose a pair from the large selection of earrings. I was incredibly anxious and nervous, so Bubby picked out the pair of simple, yet elegant (as she said) gold studs. The man and woman who worked at the store instructed me to sit down on the high swivel chair and gave me a mirror, while marking the spot on each ear where the gun would pierce. Both Bubby and my mom made sure that the dots were even and then when it came time for the actual piercing, Bubby was the only one who remained in the store. She held my hand while the two people pierced my ears and sat with me until everyone came back. When we got home, I was even more anxious than I had been before entering the store. Bubby sat down on the couch with me and taught me how to properly clean my ears to prevent any infection. I’ll never forget how she so easily calmed me down! Bubby stayed with me until the sharp pain in my ears ceased and called me every day that week to see how my ears were doing. The best part of this whole experience was that she bought me my first pair of earrings after I was able to remove the gold studs. After Friday night dinners, she would sort through her earrings in her elusive jewelry chest and we would pick out the ones that I could keep. As Bubby sings, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” Love, Cari
16: Happy Birthday!! I hope you have a most incredible day and many more years ahead filled with happiness and good health. I have so many amazing memories with you, like when I used to join your workout classes at the Y, and all of the amazing Friday night dinners you would host (Fridays became my favourite day for that very reason), when you would babysit Cari, Juli and me and we would play the "tile game" (we had no idea how to play but I remember that we loved the happy faces), watching Ms. America, trying on your shoes, and having you teach me everything I needed to know about growing up (just to name a few). I will never forget when you heard me tell my mom to "fuck off", then you went on to teach me another meaning of the word "fucking". It still makes me laugh to this day! You're such a special person and spending time with you is so enjoyable. And... you DEFINITELY don't look your age! I can only hope that those good genes got passed down to me and I grow up to have as much class and grace as you do. I can't wait for many more delicious meals, Bayview Village shopping trips, plays (South Pacific... loved hearing you sing along at every song), and coffee dates! I love you so much!! You are truly an amazing person. Love, Lora
18: Bubby, I can’t believe that you are actually 80! You’ve certainly taught me that one can be 80 years old, without looking a day over 50. You are so beautiful, kind, and an incredible cook. I look forward to coming over on Friday’s and enjoying your delicious dinners (maybe you can teach my mom how to cook)! I know you have faced a lot of challenges throughout your life having grown up during the War, and it is amazing to me how you have turned out so fair and understanding. I hardly ever hear you complain, but instead, you try to make the best of every situation and have a smile on your face every day. Perhaps the most important thing that you have taught me is the importance of matching your purse with your shoes. Actually, what I really mean to say is that you have taught me that every day is a gift to be treasured. I love you forever and always. Have an incredible 80th! Love, Juli
20: Tea for Two, and Two for Tea So many “Unforgettable” memories Eighty years young, so vibrant and fun Of all the bubbies in the world, you are definitely #1 Kicking shoes at Versailles, and swimming in the pool Spending time together always seemed so cool Sleepovers were the best, 3800 was a special place And I never got too scared when you “took off your face” Riding in your car, with a phonebook on the seat Shopping at Bayview Village's music store was always a special treat Buying bread at Loblaws, we were victims to a crime When some guy stole your wallet, and didn’t leave a dime As I became a teenager, you were always a special friend You watched my magic shows, and cheered for me at the end I could talk to you about anything and you kept an open mind Everyone I introduced you to, thought you were so kind Wildfire, United Bakers, the Coffee Mill and more Spending time and eating meals together is never a bore Always joking and smiling, you have a true zest for life Zaida was luckier than Bayview Village to get you as a wife 26 years of memories together, and so many more ahead The “Fockers” will continue to grow, and come to you to be fed You are a truly special woman, with such an amazing heart It’s no wonder you are adored at the coffee shop where you get your daily start
21: Today you turn 80, a very special day If you told someone your age, they would laugh and say “no way” Wishing you only the best – health, happiness and cheer I know we will make new memories beginning in this 81st year. Love, Matthew
22: I find Buby to be an incredibly inspiring person to be around. Despite having been through some horrific experiences in her life, she has developed an enthusiastic and positive philosophy on life. Just being around her can be all the motivation you need when you are down. Buby is full of life, funny and fun to be around. You can joke with her about things you wouldn’t be able to with other grandmothers. She is never afraid to have an open and honest discussion with you about virtually any topic. I remember when she first met Marli at a lunch for the three of us. After the lunch was over, Marli was stunned that a grandmother would enjoy talking about partying and romance with her grandson. She’s great to go to movies with. It’s great to visit her for a home cooked, candlelight dinner with some great food and a bottle of her favourite Merlot. Buby always looks great. She has an unmatched taste for fashion and home décor! I have come to really appreciate over the years how special and unique Buby is. Buby - I love you very much and wish you a very happy 80th birthday! Love, Jordan
24: In his song My Way, Frank Sinatra ends by singing: I've loved, I've laughed and cried, I've had my fill - my share of losing. But now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing. To think I did all that, And may I say, not in a shy way - Oh no. Oh no, not me. I did it my way. Buby, You love every member of this amazing family. You and I have laughed, laughed until we have cried. It hasn’t been an “easy” life, and you have had your share of difficulties, but for the 19 years you have been my Buby and 80 years anyone else has known you, you have always had the widest smile, the best attitude, and the greatest love for life. You are able to find the little things amusing, and just laugh. You have lived life to the fullest, and “done all that”. Buby, you have never been shy, never you. You’re the best Buby I could ask for. You do it your way. Love, Jeffrey