My name has 13 letters in it when first and middle are added together. 13 is a magic number in my family, or that's what my parents always told me. My parents met on February 13th. They, along with another couple, all met that day and ended up getting married. Three of the four of them had birthdays that landed on a 13. My dad was the odd man out.
Today is one of those 13s. It's Mom's 71st birthday. She isn't here to celebrate it. She used to talk about "When I get old....". I can't help but feel she never got old. It's a very weird feeling, I know it's one many of my friends have endured, the parental birthday with no parent.
On her birthday there have been great and terrible things happen over the years. Once I went for an ultrasound during a very hard pregnancy, I had hoped that after that milestone I could call my mom and give her a birthday surprise of a new grandbaby on the way. Instead I called to tell her I had lost a baby, and she grieved with me. I had a mammogram that turned out ALL CLEAR on her birthday. And six years ago today, I had an ultrasound with the perinatologist who said "Well, that really looks like a girl."
On Mom's 30th birthday she had the first of many gall bladder attacks. I remember this because I was tasked with fetching her water as she vomited nonstop. I remember her sitting on the floor of our bathroom, white as a sheet in massive pain, laughing though and saying well she'd hit 30 it was official she was falling apart. Shortly after that the ambulance arrived and took her to the hospital.
Today I'm going to go to grief counseling to talk about what it's like to be an adult orphan. I can admit confidently that I'm better, but I would like to be better than this. I'm going on Mom's birthday because it's a good landmark for me. It will be a point to look back on and see how I am.
Happy Birthday to the woman who made me who I am, both biologically and personally. She gave me the greatest gift you can give another human besides life. She taught me to think. She always said it was the most important thing anyone could ever learn, simply to THINK.
Happy Birthday Mom.
Nobody said it was easy. Nobody said it would be this hard.
I miss them both today.