Life in a Senior Residence Community is challenging and cherished.

What I’ve Done in 84 Years

Today is my birthday! My 84th.

I woke up early, excited, like a little kid, to a damp foggy morning that I know will turn into bright sunshine around noon. I sat up in bed, swung my legs over the edge, gave myself a hug, and sang out, “Happy Birthday to me.” I stood up, did a couple of shoulder rolls, a few twists, flung my arms over my head, bent down to touch my toes. Those same toes that 84 years ago, after he had examined my chubby pink feet bent up to almost touch my shins, caused the delivering doctor to say, “This child will never walk.” And my mother retorted, “You wanta bet?” She took me home, held me on her lap and for 15 months massaged my feet into place.

In 1986, I celebrated my 59th birthday in Poland, Ohio with my son Sam’s parents-in-law. They had invited me to visit them and I did. I walked there – from Los Angeles. That was the year I was on the The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament. The year we walked 3,700 miles from Los Angeles to New York and down to Washington, DC.

If he had taken Mother up on her bet, that delivering doctor would have lost. Today, I thank my mother for my life. How different it would have been if she’d believed that dire prediction.

This month, my third memoir is out. Walking for Our Lives, is a chronicle of Peace Walks in 1986, ’87, and ’88. Walking through windstorms, sandstorms, thunder and lightning storms, through muggy July in Nebraska, golden October in Pennsylvania, and soggy Delaware in November bonded us 400 who made it from coast to coast. The Peace Walks changed us. This book, Walking for Our Lives, tells how.

Today I count my many blessings and know it will be a Happy Birthday.

To order your copy of Walking for our Lives, please visit my website:

Comments on: "What I’ve Done in 84 Years" (4)

  1. Great post, Donna. You’re a shining light and inspiration to me – it’s a delight to know you. Thank you for being a good friend to me.

  2. “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (quote by Mary Oliver). I think you’re answering THAT question pretty darn well!! So proud of you and ALL your accomplishments! Happy Birthday! Love, Holly

    • Thank you, Holly! It was a happy birthday…. I decided that a celebration is a state of mind, so every moment is a celebration….. if we can keep up the momentum. Love to you, Donna

  3. pat mc veigh said:

    Happpy Happy Birthday Donna. You are truly a treasure.

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