Little Local Joys: My Aunt’s 100th Birthday

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Friday, March 27, 2020, 8:00 am
Coleen Karakitsos of the Whitehills Neighborhood

One of the ongoing stories shared by an ELi reader about little things and positive moments that bring us joy and hope during the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, March 25, my family celebrated our aunt's 100th birthday. Every year, her birthday coincides with Greek Independence Day — the day the Greeks finally won their freedom from the Ottoman Empire.

My aunt’s name is Efstratia Janis, and she is staying with us for the next few weeks or longer, depending on the virus outbreak. She was born in Greece, and moved to Michigan when she married at the age of 18. She worked alongside her husband in the Port Huron Coney Island for over half a century, even after her husband passed away.

My aunt (pictured above) continues to live alone in Port Huron where she enjoys a terrific view of the St. Clair River and visits with friends and neighbors who try to keep an eye on her. We were hoping to mark this milestone and have a great birthday event with family flying or driving in from all parts of the United States. That simply wasn’t possible. However, my aunt has gotten a lot of calls from friends and family, which makes her very happy.

NOTE: This contribution has been lightly edited for length and clarity

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