Typically, I trudge through my birthdays as one would a murky pond- carefully and cautiously stepping through the day, just trying to make it to the other side without a bite or an encounter with some unidentifiable monster. And every year when April 6th arrives, I feel a huge wave of relief. Aging isn’t the issue. I still feel young and every year I grow wiser, happier- so, no, age does not bother me (yet).
I myself couldn’t quite put a finger on why I dreaded the big day so much until last year when Seth asked me, “Why do you hate them so much?” He looked genuinely concerned after having watched me closely avoid emotional land mines all day.
No one had ever really asked me why. But, immediately, I knew the answer and tears flew through my eyes, soaking my cheeks instantly.
“I hate my birthdays because he’s not here.”
My father, his voice, his hug and his grand birthday enthusiasm. But I also missed the family that had existed before he died. After his death everyone scattered in their grief and there was no one to pull us back together again. Now 14 years later we remain divided, entire states and years of emotional wounds set between us.
But this year, Seth had a plan, He was bound and determined to beat my birthday demons.
The day started out as my birthdays usually do. No plans, home from work and treating myself to my own schedule of “whatever I feel like.” After dinner, a homemade lemon cake from Seth
and a round of kid and Seth presents I could see the finish line. Bedtime was just 45 minutes away for the kids… and not long after my own.
But then I spotted a woman walking down the side walk with a present in her hands. When she came into focus i realized it was my best friend Monica. Read More…