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Birthday Number 86

Occasionally the celebration of a significant event aligns so well with the vision in my head that its conclusion brings about glowing chatter, face-stretching smiles, and a sated sense of perfection. Such were the days surrounding Jerry’s 86th birthday.

It began with The Nieces.


Three of them live in Louisiana, the other two in Texas. “We’d like to come out and visit Uncle Jerry for his birthday. Would that be a convenient time?”

Of course it would, so although I hadn’t planned to throw a party, that these dear ones would make that long trek to California certainly called for a major celebration. I told Jerry I had decided on a birthday party, but I told him nothing of the trip his nieces would be making. Debbie flew to San Antonio, Nita and Pam drove to the area in Texas of Linda and Sharon’s homes, where, with their mounds of luggage, they all piled into Linda’s van and headed west.


Rebecca and Holly beautifully decorated the room we reserved at The Claim Jumper in San Bernardino. The party was scheduled for 2:00 on Saturday and all the guests had arrived when I drove Jerry into the parking lot. My children knew of the secret guests, passed the word to the others as they arrived so that the only ones seated at the table when Jerry walked into the room were his dear nieces. He was stunned.

The party was perfect in every way. The food was delicious, pristinely presented, and served without a flaw. The guests consisted of a sweet mix of family, ministers, neighbors, and other friends from Crestline. During the meal various persons stood and in moving ways–sometimes humorous–spoke accolades to Jerry. It was a glowing, memorable afternoon.

Although we would be a bit cramped, the nieces and Michael and his wife went home with us, filling up all the guest rooms, and throwing down mats and blankets for sleeping. We had a blast.

Jerry opened his gifts.

DSC_9313We ate breakfast . . .and more meals. We went to Stater’s, bought a whole brisket, and Jerry cooked it all Sunday night. On Monday we feasted.

DSC_9315Some had to leave. Others came.

DSC_9343We did lots of this.



On Tuesday morning, these precious women headed home, to their families, to their jobs. They left behind magnificent memories of hugs and kisses, of deep and meaningful conversations, of ย tender tears and of uproarious laughter. Jerry has said more than once, “I just can’t believe they drove all the way out here to celebrate my birthday.”

There are some really fine people in this world. Several of them belong to the Buxton family.


By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 84 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

22 replies on “Birthday Number 86”

Happy Belated Birthday to Bro. Buxton! How wonderful to have such a nice surprise from the nieces. Family times are always the best. Love from the Connell family to you and Bro. Buxton. ๐Ÿ™‚


Dear Jerry , our never get to see precious friend !! Happy birthday !! We love you and Shirley . We will never forget our R.V. Trip to Canada with 5 Rv coaches!!!!
Also our times of listening to you sing !!
Shirley I really enjoy your writing . You make it all so interesting !
God bless and keep you both!!

Jimmy and Bobbie S.


Love you both so much. And yes, what precious memories we have. From our babies in strollers at camp meetings to traveling in our dear motor homes–what glorious times. We need to get together. Must make it happen.


What a special BDay for a very special guy!! As you get older it means so much to know how loved and appreciated you are!! So happy you had a special Bday and celebration!!
We love you and you wife so much and would love to see you again soon!!
Mike & Paula ๐Ÿ’•


Sister Luke, thank you for reading here and for your comments. We are following your family’s experiences, and your husband’s challenges have not gone unnoticed. Sending our love and sincere prayers for a complete recovery. Although we have wonderful memories of our blessed lives on this earth, nothing will compare with the splendor and richness that is awaiting us when we get to Heaven. What a glorious thought. Love you both so much.


What a fitting tribute to a wonderful soldier of the cross.
Always a kind and encouraging word.

Happy belated birthday.

We love you, Elder and Sister Buxton.


Happy birthday Bro. Buxton.. Love you so dearly.. My father in the lord who taught me everything about God. Hope you have the most wonderful birthday,
Love Dede.๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‚๐Ÿจ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽˆ


Thanks Shirley. This was beautiful. And I agree that some very fine people belong to the Buxton family. Esther P.S. Having heart surgery on the 26th. Your prayers would mean a lot to me.


Esther, thanks for stopping to reply here. And yes, we’re aware of your upcoming heart surgery. We have been praying for you and will continue to do so. God bless you. Give you strength, peace, and healing.


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