Happy 100th Birthday, Ava Lavinia Gardner!

Today I celebrated in style. I got two dozen yellow roses to arrange in a display, and since some of the rose heads had fallen off, the cashier gave me one dozen for free. It was a kind gesture, one that I feel added to the specialness of this occasion. I also baked a coconut cake, her mother’s coconut cake that she always baked for Ava for her birthday. After her mother passed, Ava always had a coconut cake for her birthday for the rest of her life, no matter where she was in the world. To pay tribute to this remarkable lady, I sang through all of her songs, listened to them, and reflected on what film she was doing and where she was in her life when she had the opportunity to sing.
As I set up a display this morning, with the cake and the roses and the photo, I added two green emerald candles on the cake. When I took the photo of my display, I noticed a light reflected in the mirror of the photo (from the candles, no doubt), but, like the rose gesture from the kind cashier, I felt it was a sign that maybe Ava does appreciate the celebration and gestures of gratitude toward her, long after she has passed. I like to think that she herself is celebrating, enjoying some cake, laughing loudly, and being the best version of herself. That’s the most, and the best, any of us could hope for on any given day, let alone on a Centennial birthday.
Happy Birthday to Ms. Ava Gardner, a one-of-a-kind, dynamite lady, who stayed true to herself and paved the way for many of us to stand tall, be proud of who we are, and live life to the fullest. Here’s hoping the next 100 years are just as grand. 💚💚