Many people dread turning a year older but for one Harbor Hill resident celebrating birthdays has become a badge of honor.

Harbor Hill has a tradition of throwing a birthday party for each resident who is 100 years old or older and for the past couple of years, Mildred Marden, who recently turned 105, has earned her own party.

“The residents love it. It’s a party and they really enjoy it,” Peggy Differ, activity director for Harbor Hill, said. “Mildred has been such an asset since she came here in 2007. She laughs, she jokes and she’s just really happy.”

Differ said Marden joined the residents of Harbor Hill in 2007 and has been “an absolute blessing.”

Arnold Gray said he remembers visiting his mother and playing with her other son who was a few years younger.

“She lived out in the country and had a lot of bird feeders and we would watch the birds and squirrels and have a good time,” Gray said. “She would always go upstairs and get us something special to eat. She also had a swing that we would swing on and that was a lot of fun.”

Gray said he was grateful he could attend her party and was amazed at how his mother has remained in good health.

“It’s a pretty special thing to celebrate a 105th birthday,” he said.

Like Gray, Mike Marden, who lives in Hampden, was happy to celebrate his grandmother’s special day.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Mike said. “I remember when we were younger and we used to go to her house in Winterport and she didn’t have running water. It was a step back for us and we always enjoyed it. It’s hard to believe she’s 105 years old.”

As a special surprise, Differ read an email from the staff of Channel 5 news expressing their regret they were unable to attend the birthday celebration. The staff wished Mildred the best and said if it wasn’t such a busy news day they would have attended.

Being wished a happy birthday from so many people was a special honor for Marden, but after 105 years she struggles to identify a specific memory that stands out to her.

“There are so many memories I can’t just choose one,” Marden said. “I keep meeting new friends and it’s been wonderful to be able to celebrate so many birthdays. It’s been nice.”

When asked if she was excited about celebrating more birthdays, Marden didn’t hesitate with an answer.

“Oh, yes. I’m definitely excited about more birthdays,” she said.