Happy birthday, Ida: Celebrating 98 years during the pandemic

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – It’s Ida Juidici’s 98th birthday and just because it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no way her friends and family were going to miss out on her important day.

“She’s a character,” said Ida’s daughter, Ruth Forgette. “Always has been. She’s got a great personality, a great attitude. So this pandemic is just one more thing that she’s working herself through. This is more for us than it is for her to be able to see her. It’s been two months since I’ve seen her so this has been great to see her face.”

Friends and family gathered near a window at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care on Friday with signs, drinks and cake and to catch up with one very special lady.

“Birthdays at Brookridge are always big events but imagine doing this during these special times,” said Brian Gaudreau, Memory Support Director, Brookridge Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care. “It’s very emotional for me. It’s very emotional for our families and imagine having a loved one here. And we’ve been on lockdown here for going on three months and they are thinking in the back of their minds, what if I never see my mom or my dad again. And so to be able to open up a window and let them talk to them personally, to be able to see them, to see if they’re okay and then to have a birthday…. 98 years to be able to celebrate it, it’s kind of an amazing opportunity.”

It’s days like this one that won’t be forgotten.

“But once you get to be 98, you don’t know how many birthdays that you’re going to get to celebrate,” said Forgette. “This may be the last one that we get to have so I’m going to hold every moment of this dear to my heart.”

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