I wanted to write this today because I’ll be too busy being the “hostess with almost the mostest” tomorrow for my dear friend, Jane Hilliard, who just turned 91 years young. Jane has been a dear friend for over 40 years, and is my mentor and role model. Though I know I’ll never be able to be the woman she is, I’m trying as hard as I can to learn as much as I can from her, and to pattern my life in many of the same ways she has.

So, at noon tomorrow, seven of us are going to SURPRISE her with a birthday luncheon at my house. I can’t wait to see her face when she walks in and finds out that it’s not just the 2 of us having lunch. All of the invitees feel the same way about this marvelous lady. She does so much for so many of us, and has inspired and motivated us in various areas of our lives.

Everything will be done in pink tomorrow — because that’s her favorite color. Last year, there was a huge 90th birthday celebration in her honor at the local Woman’s Club building, and hundreds of people came from all across the country to celebrate with her. There were 90 beautiful long-stem pink roses used in various centerpieces in the room, and although tomorrow’s celebration will not be that elaborate, it will be special because of her influence in each of our lives.

I hope each of you has someone like Jane to love you, to love your family, to praise you when you’ve done something well, to be there when you need to cry on her shoulder, and to share all the special times in your lives. I’m very blessed to have her in my life — so Happy Birthday, Jane. I love you.


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