My birthday weekend is coming to an end today. I was so worried throughout this entire month about how I might react on the actual day. Typically, I spend time prior to the day planning out what I’d like to do. I have always gone to the spa for at least one of the days. As well, I tend to have a large group of people over for a home cooked meal with champagne and cupcakes. On big birthdays I plan elaborate celebrations. But this year felt different. I was dreading it. I really did not know how I was going to react to the silence of Mom’s birthday wish. I was so used to her calling up and doing that typical thing that Mom’s do by reliving the day you came into the world. It just didn’t feel right. My friends kept asking me in the kindest of ways, “So what are we going to do?” I just kept stalling. I felt like I wanted to just sit on the couch the entire day in complete silence; but, that didn’t seem right either in light of how I typically enjoy my birthday. So I finally decided on keeping it small with friends I felt certain would follow my lead. I knew that this group of friends would either live it up with a bang…or just as easily lie down in the grass, eyes lifted to the sky, and cry with me.
I waited until the day before my actual birthday to spring the plan on my friends. I decided on an early breakfast with a leisurely drive through the vineyards and some wine tasting. The day would end with a visit to the Solvang Brewing Company for one of their infamous Viking Corn Dogs. As can be expected with this group, they leaped at the chance to join in on the day. Their support was expected, but their exuberance was intoxicating. I began to become excited about the day rather than pensive. These amazing women that I choose to live my life around took their most envied personality traits and simultaneously filled my little wounded heart with hope. They were enthusiastic, encouraging, supportive, flexible and leaping feet first into this uncertain day with me. I love them for that. I love that they pushed their lives aside to fill the hours of my day with a quiet reassurance that all would be okay.
Seeing as the majority of my day was planned out, I knew that I needed to save a piece of it for Mama. So in the wee hours of the morning, I headed out the door with my loyal companion, Marcello, for a much needed walk of remembrance, release of sadness, and recognition of why I even have a birthday. I made sure Mom’s playlist was set and I started my Birthday Walk! I cried through most of it, Marcello glancing up at me now and then to make sure I was okay. I began so early in the morning that I doubted anyone would even pass our path and if they had, I wouldn’t have even noticed or cared. This walk was for my own peace of mind and to fill a little hole in my heart with birthday memories.
I won’t go into detail about what exactly ran through my mind during that time, but my biggest hope is that Mama somehow heard me and knows how much I miss hearing her voice and long to hug her one more time. I wanted to thank her for giving me a reason to even need to celebrate my birthday. The only way I could imagine these celebrations filled with laughter and love is if somewhere along the path of my life someone else had shown me how important I was to even justify such observance. I thanked her for so many things that early morning and as I entered my home at the finality of my walk, the phone rang and Dad’s voice filled the air. The two people who brought me into this world unknowingly shared the exact same space and time on my birthday and this brought the greatest sense of tranquility to my day. It filled my day with the love I needed to move forward without guilt or sadness….and that is exactly what I did….I celebrated life that day!!