Here We Celebrated.

I can say with great confidence that we’re all weary of COVID and the toll it has taken on so many areas of life.

Yesterday, in spite of everything, in spite of a young girl’s fear that the celebration of her eleventh birthday would be confined to the virtual world, a small family gathering took place at our home. Social distancing was respected, and my beautiful daughter had a chance to safely bask in the love of her three-dimensional family. However, physical touch outside of immediate family was a no-go.

I composed a short poem to reflect on what has been the experiences of so many.



They came! Pure joy, bright smile, Grandma! Grandpa!

Air hug, squeeze tight, baby girl, please stay safe!

Can they play? I miss the swing, push me high!

Too close, I know, will my heart ache forever?

Daddy, I am glad, but sad, it hurts so bad.

Please play with me. We’ll catch a butterfly.

Leave the net, and step away, so they can see.

Daddy, you are holding me! I’m not a bug.

Who wants a bug when there’s an angel to hug?


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Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark Bierman's childhood consisted of chores, riding horses, snowmobile races across open fields, fishing trips to a local lake, and many other outdoor adventures. He was also an avid reader of both fiction and non. Transitioning towards adulthood also meant moving from the farm and into large urban areas that introduced this country boy to life in the big cities. After a short stint as a private investigator, he moved into the role of Correctional Officer, working at both Millhaven Institution and Kingston Penitentiary, until it closed.

36 thoughts on “Here We Celebrated.”

  1. This is our present day life, Mark. Children’s birthday parties have changed. It does make me sad, even though I try to put a positive spin on things. Tears brimming, reading your poem. I get it. Hugging your children. A priceless birthday gift. ❤️

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  2. What a beautiful, heartfelt poem! My son’s birthday is in two days, and I am going through similar emotions. He doesn’t want a drive by; he hates attention. We can’t have a party – too dangerous. So, we will go over to my sister’s house since she is the only one we haven’t socially distanced from and hang out in her pool. We will still celebrate the beginning of a new year in his life but on a much more subdued level. We are all healthy, and that is what is most important. 🙂

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  3. How sad that this has to take its toll on young impressionable souls. Sad! Hopefully, this will get better soon and “What doesn’t doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Hang in there.

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  4. Wow, Mark, this was really touching! It saddened my heart to hear your daughter’s birthday was affected, but I am grateful she has such a loving family. You are amazing with her. Thank you for your love & care over her life. Happy Belated Birthday to your sweetie, though! Hard to believe how quickly they grow, isn’t it?

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  5. A beautifully bittersweet poem. I had wondered about how children see this pandemic, which depends a lot on what their parents think and what information they’re given. It must be very hard to know that there are people very ill and dying but not be sure how it’s happening, knowing that suddenly you can’t see your friends or do the things you used to do. I hope she was able to have a good day nonetheless with family by her side – Happy (belated) 11th Birthday to your girl, Mark! 🎉🎉🎉🎉

    Caz xx

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  6. Happy birthday to your eleven years old daughter, Mark. I know it was not the same of having a real party. Having some family over was still good. Help her write something and list the presents she got. She’ll remember that forever and hopefully will never have things like this again in her life time.

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    1. Thank you Miriam. She’d been very concerned that no one would be able to come, but things eased up a bit, and we are lucky to have a large property so everything was outside. I’m sure she will never forget this one, but as you say, hopefully this will be the one and only time.

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  7. This is a lovely poem, Mark. My 14 year old son is also finding it very hard. He really misses school and friends. Unfortunately, he is auto immune so I don’t know when this will end for him. Happy birthday to your lovely daughter.

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  8. Really found the words filled my heart!
    She will never forget her eleventh birth and also appreciate how her parents worked to make it a special “normal” time.

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  9. Mark, that’s beautiful and so perfectly expresses how most of us feel. It’s no different with adult children, by the way. And thank you so much for retweeting my post.

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