Nursing homes are celebrating birthdays a little bit differently in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The family of one Minnesota nursing home resident, for example, recently took the festivities outside to mark his big day. 

Mike Mudgett, a resident at the Martin Luther Care Center, a long-term care facility that is part of Martin Luther Campus in Bloomington, MN, celebrated his 87th birthday on St. Patrick’s Day with his family. Normally, he receives frequent visits from his family, but the visitor ban changed that. 

His family still showed up — outside his window — to mark the occasion with decorations, kisses and songs. Mudgett, a former clown, is used to being the life of the party.

But it was his family who took center stage this year to share in Mudgett’s joy. “He would go to birthday parties and large community fundraisers to share his love of magic, creating balloon animals, face painting and tricks/jokes,” a spokeswoman for Martin Luther Care Center explained.

Mudgett summed up his special day with a poem: 

“Today,” he wrote. “God has given you a special gift; He’s given you today. You can either be productive or fritter it away. Before you decide to waste it, please be aware within. Today is only given once; it will never return again.”