A local woman celebrated a 100-year-milestone alongside her friends, family and caretakers, Nov. 16, when a birthday party decked out in her favorite color — pink — was held in her honor.
In a roomful of pink balloons, live music and with a tiara placed on her head, Wilma Hyatt, of Fruitland, was the center of attention during her birthday celebration put together by the living care facility she currently resides at, as well as her family.
For months, and most especially in the days leading up to the big day, everyone was looking forward to the celebration.
“She’s been wanting to know if she was going to make it and then she did,” said her son Keith Hyatt.
The anticipation for the birthday wasn’t an excitement only confined to family, but with Wilma Hyatt’s caretakers as well.
Bailey Goodson, a caregiver at Edgewood Spring Creek, said she as well as other caregivers and Hyatt have been counting down the days for four months. Every day, she added, the countdown would be marked on an eraser board and as the milestone got closer the number on the board would change.
“All week we have been telling her how many days are left,” Goodson said.
Prior to the birthday party, which was organized by the living facility, Hyatt enjoyed a cupcake for breakfast and a lunch with other residents.
Although all residents’ birthdays are celebrated in some capacity, “only the big numbers” result in extravagant gatherings, said Haylee Barton, activities coordinator for memory care.
For the family, the party for Hyatt hitting the century mark was special. Daughter-in-law Donna Hyatt said the efforts of the care facility were amazing as they set up the whole extravaganza and even made sure to doll up her mother-in-law with makeup, hair and a tiara.
“It’s pretty impressive,” another son, Michael Hyatt, said.
The get-together was also spent sharing memories with and about Wilma Hyatt, including her life as a farm wife, stay-at-home mom and her time as a young girl when she played basketball.
In those times, granddaughter Anna Holcomb said, girls weren’t allowed to play in shorts or pants.
“She told us how she played basketball as a guard in dresses and skirts because they weren’t allowed to wear anything else,” Holcomb said.
The secret to her longevity, Keith Hyatt said, is most likely that she has always been healthy. In fact, up until she was 97, he said it was normal for his mom to walk between 2 to 3 miles a day.
For the birthday girl, the gathering was one filled with love, hugs and plenty of birthday cards.
“I’m going to have to find a place for these,” Hyatt said about her birthday cards as she read them. “Just look at this one, it’s beautiful — they are all beautiful.”