“All life is sacred” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Josephine Dozois by ©Emily Dozois

“I’ve always been very close with my gramma; my brother and I have spent at least one night a week sleeping over at her house for as long as I can remember. I grew up eating homemade Italian pasta sauce and meatballs, and it is still one of my all time favourite dishes. Everyone loves my grammas cooking, and she loves making and sharing it as much as she loves eating it. Many people have tried to shadow her in the kitchen and learn her secrets, but no one has quite mastered it yet. Outside the kitchen, my gramma is one of the most fun-loving, outgoing, friendly people that I know. She can’t leave the house without being stopped by at least one long-lost friend for friendly conversation and laughter. She is incredibly caring, and I know her friends cherish their relationships with her almost as much as I do. This photo of her laughing in the kitchen sums up all my favourite things about her – from her culinary talents to her easy-going, fun-loving personality.” – Emily D

Image © Emily Dozois

An Interview with Josephine

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. When I turned seventy one of my sons threw me a surprise birthday party. All my friends and family gave money instead of gifts so I would be able to travel to Hawaii, which had been a lifelong dream.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. All my birthdays have been enjoyable and happy, I’ve always had a great time. I can’t think of one that sticks out as a bad memory.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

A. The biggest surprise I’ve received on a birthday would birthday be my 70th birthday party. My son rented out the local legion and many of my friends and family members travelled to make the event.

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist on eating during your birthday celebration?

A. I like to have a birthday dinner with all my children, the food doesn’t matter to me as much as the people I am eating it with.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. The most important part of celebrating birthdays to me is being sure to share it with the people who truly care about you.

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. [no answer]