Theme and Variations

As I told Dana this morning, “it’s her birthday. I’m trying to keep my chin up, but if I’m having a moment, just let me go.” There will be a celebratory whiskey shot after dinner, because as Dana reminded me, there are always going to be good things that I want to remember. I’ve written before about the first birthday she had after we met. I called THE BIGGEST radio station in town because they announced birthdays, and I sent her a rosebud at school with a card that said, “for all you do, this bud’s for you.” I was 13. When I turned 17, she got me back. She sent me flowers in the middle of English. It was bigger than my desk, and the card said, “Happy birthday from the moms.” It was the most thrilling moment of my school year, because first of all, I was thrilled that she remembered, and second of all, she was able to give me a present while being just as sneaky as me. 🙂

Holidays are the hardest with grief, especially if the person you’re grieving is still alive. There’s a want to reach out, the holidays soften your heart, and then you realize that until the conflict ends, you don’t have much to say anyway. It’s just too big to ignore. So you remember on your own, and laugh to yourself at all the good memories. It wasn’t all bad, or they wouldn’t come to mind, anyway.

And that’s just where I am today. Maybe next year will be easier.

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