Birthday Party For One

Have you ever considered how it would feel to throw a birthday party where the guest of honor never showed? I face that harsh reality on April 3rd of every year. It’s just a day, just a moment in time, and just a distant memory. Yet, I find myself feeling a little blue (no pun intended), much like every other year. April 3rd typically starts what I refer to as “the hell months” because during these next four months, I face his birthday, my mom’s birthday, his hospitalization, his death (6 years this year), and my mom’s death (5 years this year). Whatever existing higher power clearly didn’t waste much time deciding I had obstacles to face.
So yesterday, when the blues set in, I told myself I couldn’t do this, not this year. I can’t just allow myself to wallow in a pool of pity and feel sorry for myself, that’s the last thing he’d ever want me to do. So what did I do instead?
I celebrated him, how can you be sad when there’s balloons and chocolate cake?

I doused my eyes in blue, his favorite color.
I wore his shirt.
I listened to Metallica, Pink Floyd, Nickelback (I still cringe at how much he loved that specific artist), and Nirvana.
I ate a peach and chewed some Big Red to remind me of the Swisher Sweet smell that clung to his clothes and the cinnamon that wafted from his mouth.
I danced in the rain the way he always did, despite my hair begging me not to.
I sat in the rain, just sat there and I talked to him. While my religious beliefs aren’t quite apparent, I know he can hear me.
I looked at pictures of the good times, these frozen moments of history are all I have left, but I’m so thankful to have them.
I thought of the hours I spent next to his hospital bed, hoping for a miracle that never came.
While these things might seem depressing, I prefer to look at it as the cherished past, I’ll always have my past, and my present. I’m at peace with him being gone, I can’t get him back. Do I cry sometimes? Sure. But do I smile? All the time. I wasn’t always this okay, it took so much work but I’m here, and I’m happy.
“52 huh? That’s pretty old, dude. You haven’t been here for six years. Let’s see, you missed my high school graduation, I know you always wanted to see that happen. I’m a junior in college now, crazy right? I pay my own way, I know you’d be really proud of that. I’m going to be a teacher, and not everyone thinks it’s a good choice, but I know you’d be proud of whatever I decided to do. Tink’s still alive, she misses you too. Kaleen and I have gotten close, it’s pretty cool to have a sister. Also, if you have anything to do with this rain, can you chill? You’re gonna flood my house! Oh yeah, I have a house now. I still miss your goofy smile, our races to and from the car (I know you let me win), going to Scarowinds (I know you’d work there with me if you were still here), I miss the evil dolphin you embodied every time we went to the pool, and man do I just miss having you around. I love you, happy birthday dad.”

Always and forever,
P.S. – I had much better photography planned for this, but the weather handed me a big “not today, homegirl”.

What did I listen to? “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd

One thought on “Birthday Party For One

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  1. I am so sorry to hear that you are facing these dates and memories. Mine is late Feb and March. 18 and 17 years for me. Time passes but the awareness does not ever go away. Little things you might never consider, impact your memory. This year it was prom. As I snapped the prom pictures I felt the thought cross my mind that this would have been the year of her senior prom. My son would have been a freshman in college. I sit right there with you, and in silence share the dates that have forever, forever, changed our hearts. Hugs to you!


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