Eva Risk marks her milestone birthday in a unique way amid pandemic
Eva Risk turned 100 years old this week and the Golden Living Center in Taylorsville where she lives threw a party outside her window, complete with streamers and balloons, flowers and decorations and, of course, a birthday cake.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions that prevent visits to nursing homes and care facilities, family members and friends were unable to celebrate with her inside. So staff at the center propped up an iPad at Eva's window and situated her next to the glass where loved ones could talk to her via their iPhones and wave and blow kisses to her from outside.
They gathered on Tuesday in family groups one by one to smile at her through the glass, explaining that there was a bad virus going around that prevented them from coming in. They told her they loved her and wished her happy birthday. They said they would visit in person as soon as the virus subsided.
Eva smiled broadly and delighted in seeing her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren — even if it was through her window.
Representing Taylorsville City, Mayor Kristie Overson also paid a visit outside, wishing Eva the happiest of birthdays and giving her a card and commemorative coin. "We are so grateful to have you here as part of our Taylorsville community," Mayor Overson said to Eva through her window. "We congratulate you on your 100th birthday and long life and are so pleased to be able to celebrate with you."
Eva was born April 21, 1920, in a little town in Scotland. She and her husband, John, moved to the United States in May 1953. Her mother and father were Margret and Robert Liddell, and she has two brothers and one sister. She and her husband had four sons and one daughter. She is a loving mother who always cherished her children and turned into mama bear when she had to be, according to her family.
Her favorite music is Italian music and opera, and she loves to sing a tune or two. Her favorite color is green. She has enjoyed many passions in life, including writing books and stories, being outdoors, hiking and dressing up to go out to dinner with her girlfriends. She liked to travel, and being in an airplane is one of her all-time favorite memories because she felt free and like she was getting away from the world.
Eva’s advice to someone young would be enjoy life to the fullest, never do anything to hurt your body, and to love with all your heart. "Always treat people with respect and treat them nicely," she said. She attributes her long life to her efforts to take care of her body, noting that she never smoked or imbibed.
For her birthday, staff at the Golden Living Center decorated her room and gave her a cake. They delivered to her the flowers and gifts that had been brought from those outside to her in her room.
Center staff also noted that they are in need of more protective masks. Please call the center at 801-966-4286 if you can donate or help.