This day on any other year was like a holiday. It was the day you and I spent time together doing whatever you liked. It was the day that I put together a little party for you with a cake that you never ate, gifts and attempted to bring together your favorite people under one roof. It’s the day I wanted you to feel celebrated, loved, honored and appreciated. No it’s not Mother’s Day…it’s your Birthday!
Today is hard for me for two reasons. One it’s your birthday and two it is the 10 month anniversary of your transition. I purposefully worked today, which is also something I don’t normally do on this day. And to top it off, I packed my scheduled as tight as I could to eliminate any free time to cry and waddle in sorrow. You never liked to see me cry. It always made you tear up and you’d tell me to stop or walk away from me if you couldn’t contain your tears. Well, my entire day fell apart. I guess the message that was being given to me was that I needed to “tend” to my feelings. All my meetings except two were cancelled, my trainings were rescheduled and I had a huge hole in my day. I had already been up way before my alarm went off, staring at the ceiling and crying, thinking of all the reasons why I’m grateful and then following them up with all the reasons why I felt like such shit.
I tried to steer clear of my phone as I knew the photo memories would pop up. But every time I looked at my clock display, pictures of us or you and the kids appeared. After a while, I decided to take a look at the Google notification that I swipe left almost everyday. I just wanted to hear you laugh or say my name. I stopped on a picture of me looking like I allowed the wind to style my hair for the day. There was a caption that said I was headed to spend the day with my favorite girl on her special day. This was your last birthday at home. I always picked up food, had a cake or cupcakes that you never ate and gifts. I could not forget the gifts. This year it was some weird “As Seen On TV” crap that you bugged me about as if Christmas hadn’t just come and gone. It’s crazy because I would hunt and find it just to see your face light up.
I stumbled on a picture of me, you and your only granddaughter. Generations in one picture. We all have that nose of yours lol. I smile. You looked like you had just cursed me out because I interrupted your game that you were playing on your tablet. But you were dressed up and sitting with your legs crossed like the lady you were. I felt this tug at my heart. My eyes immediately starting to fill with tears. Normally I’d try to stop it but today, I removed my glasses and I just let the tears fall. I miss you. I don’t know what to do today. And I feel so lost.
I watched past videos of your birthday parties. I laughed at the one where I put trick candles on your cake and you kept trying to blow them out. You were about to get pissed at me. Grandma was fussing because she did not want me to drop the candles on the floor and burn down the house lol. Matt was ill because I kept laughing when the candles wouldn’t go out lol. That was the best. I scrolled to the picture when I got you an outfit and your boots…lord you worried me so bad about them damn boots! The following year, you had on the entire outfit for your birthday and you didn’t want me to take a picture of you. I knew you hated pictures but they are all I have now so I’m glad I snapped them anyways.
I really do not know what I am doing here anymore. I truly have built the life that I have to take care of you, and then to care for your grandchildren. But you most of all because I wanted you to be proud of the child that you raised that beat all the odds. I did’t end up pregnant as a teen. I didn’t let not having my Father around push me down a path of destruction and drugs. I left the little town you raised me in and I made something of myself. I spent time in the military, went to college, got married, started a career, got a good job, had kids, helped raise my Brother and took care of you anyway I could. All I’ve ever wanted was for you to be proud of me. Now that you’re gone, what do I do?
I’m struggling with this part of grief. Often isolating myself because I feel as though no one understands or cares. When I’m all alone with my thoughts, this is where I truly miss having you around. Without saying a word, you knew when I was upset. You knew when I was excited. When I was happy. When I had the sillies. You were always there to listen, give advice when you felt it was necessary and just be my best friend. I never had to remind you. It came naturally.
So i’m accepting it…losing my best friend is something that I will never get over. I have accepted that. But I refuse to stop celebrating you. The last thing I want is to one day forget your birthday just because you aren’t here. I gave you the best that I had while you were here. And I don’t know how to stop.
I hope you are having the best day ever even though it’s not here with us. I miss you and love you dearly and that will never change.