Monthly Special Connections

Special Connections

January, 2021

with Samantha & Carolyn

We are looking forward to connecting with you about all the special things in our lives. In January there are several special birthdays. COVID has made January Birthday celebrations different this year. Here is what the Birthday folks shared with us.

Shirley’s Special Day

Shirley celebrated her 90th birthday on January 3rd. Last year, she teased her friends that she wanted a big party. She got her wish – just differently!  Her sons and some close friends arranged a surprise Zoom party with well over 70 people from around the world. There were friends and colleagues from the 50 years that she had met as the first teacher of Bliss. Everyone had wonderful comments and thanks for Shirley’s leadership, guidance and friendship. It was so interesting to hear about Shirley’s work from so many of the people whose lives she touched.

Kari Wrote:

 January happens to be full of birthdays in my family. Mine is on January the sixth, so I just had it a week and five days ago. I turned 56.

I must say that I was a lucky one because a lot of the residents at my home had to celebrate their birthday in their room due to the lockdowns we had during COVID 19. We just got out of our third lockdown just before my birthday. This is the biggest change from my birthdays in the past. Having it during COVID 19. Usually, I go to a restaurant to celebrate my birthday.

This year I got flowers from my brother and his family, cards, and even presents that the supervisor had ordered from Amazon and a friend gave me an iTunes card. I felt like having dinner with shrimp, so the supervisor had ordered a shrimp chive dinner, which lasted me three more suppers. It tasted delicious. Instead of a birthday cake, I had a Tim Horton’s carrot muffin.

        I have to say that my most memorable birthday was when I turned 23. I had Ann Running and her parents at my parents’ house. It was so much fun for the best friends and fans of Anne Murray!

Carolyn would like to reminisce sometime with Kari about both Ann and Anne. 

Irene Wrote:

My birthday is on January 25. Last year my aunts, uncles, cousins, sister in law, my three brothers and my favourite niece came for my birthday. My grandmother who was 97 year old also came. I got lots of gifts but one gift I remember was a bottle of ice wine from Niagara. I think this year will be different. My grandmother won’t be able to come because of Covid. Maybe some people will come for a porch visit. This year I will have a birthday cake with mom and dad, my brothers and the cat Belle.

Samantha wonders if you could take pictures to share with your grandmother.

Joe’s Birthday was January 28th.

.Joe Wrote:

Miss those days of my birthday parties @ lots places and friends planned them.

Carolyn remembers some of those parties at The Granite Brewery in Toronto and misses those noisy, crowded, fun nights now that Joe lives in Orillia!

Valentine’s Day will be different this year. We would love to hear how you are going to celebrate it. Please send us your ideas to

See you next month!

Blog Editor’s Note:

SpecialConnections will be a regular monthly feature in 2021.

Its authors are Carolyn Henry and Samantha Millar, assisted by Carolyn’s sister, Glynis, and Samantha’s mother, Julie.

There will be entries that are written collaboratively or with light editing applied.

When content is included that has been written by a contributor solely, this will be acknowledged, by printing his/her name. 

Thanks for a great party!!!

Blissful Thoughts’ 

seems the best way

 for me to thank 

all those 

who made my 90th birthday

such a joyous and memorable event! 

 Thanks to the three Toronto conspirators – Penny, Lynnette and Nora – who planned and achieved the day!

 Thanks to my family for abetting the conspirators – Kevin, Litsa, David, Janice, Christopher, Kathryn and Matthew!

 Thanks to Bob and my mother, who, through different periods of my life, believed in me and supported me in what I did!

And looking back and remembering others who are no longer with us, I  have to say a quiet thank-you to Jinny and Dick Storr, Jane Green, Els Koerselman, Maurice Izzard, Anna Greta Malstrom-Groth, Sue Odell, Paul Marshall, Ann and Miriam Running, Val Cruse, Andrew and Mark  Murphy, Clarence Meyers, Anne  Warrick, and so many many more!  And I must say ‘thanks’ to Charles K. Bliss who gave us his seminal language, and ensured we would have a memorable beginning to our experiences using his language with our special communicators.

 Thanks to all those who spread the word about the party – Katherine, Audrey, Judy, Claudia, Rebecca and Margareta are the ones I learned about!

Thanks to all those who spoke such kind words at the zoom party!

 Thanks to all those who attended – too many to see all at one time, needing  four zoom screens!

Thanks to those who sent chat messages during the party, or emailed and phoned the following week!

Thanks to everyone who had me in their thoughts on Jan.3 !!

Thanks to everyone for including me in your life !!!

I was privileged

 to travel the Bliss and AAC road

amongst the pioneers.

 I continue to be privileged

 to share the journeys 

of those who have travelled 

and are travelling their unique paths,

through five decades!


If you would like to view the recording of my Birthday Party, email me at