Apparently today is my birthday. I only know this because my family tells me so. Okay, well, I know when my birthday is; I simply choose not to celebrate it.
It’s not that I have a problem with my age. I honestly can never remember how old I am. I believe age is just a number. It’s relative. I think it’s all about how old you feel.
I’m 44 today.
Want to hear another number?
61. That’s how old my mom was when she died last year just 19 days before my birthday.
As if I didn’t already hate birthdays, this was simply the icing on the cake. And, if I’m honest, I’m not even that big on cake.
You can only imagine how fun I am at parties, right?!
I’m simply not one for being the center of attention. In fact, I hate it. I’m an introvert through and through.
Sitting in front of a burning cake while people stare at me while singing that dreadful birthday song is just too much for me.
My idea of the perfect birthday celebration is sitting in the solitude of my own home, surrounded by my immediate family, enjoying dinner as we do any other night of the week.
Although, a girl can’t pass up a good dessert. Just not cake. Unless it’s an ice cream cake. Those I do love to devour!
Or cream puffs. Cupcakes even. Tiramisu. I can think of a dozen different birthday desserts I’d rather have than cake.
And presents? Agh! It’s another introvert nightmare.
Sitting in front of more people staring at you as you unwrap each gift bestowed upon you. I hate surprises more than I hate cake.
Not to mention, again, not a fan of that amount of attention on me. And having to get excited about each gift is a lot.
I know. I’m whining about it. I am. The only two birthdays I ever remember enjoying were my 7th and 15th.
My 7th was when I got my leather western belt with my name on it and my cowboy hat. Plus, we bobbed for apples and I thought that was the coolest thing!
For my 15th birthday, my best friend and I celebrated together since our birthdays were 10 days apart. We danced, laughed, and went all out for that one. It was the only party I ever shared with someone else.
Yet we’re back to numbers.
One year, 19 days. That’s how long my mom has been gone.
Last year’s birthday was worse. I didn’t want to think about it at all. This year I only had a slight breakdown on Tuesday when I realized my birthday was soon. I literally had forgotten all about it.
It’s hard to celebrate my date of birth when the woman that gave me life is no longer here. This is where the real reason for my disdain lies.
And it sucks.
Why? Because, according to Colby, people (mainly my kids) still want to celebrate the day. And I need to give them that pleasure.
I can’t steal their joy. I can’t rob them of their blessings.
I know this. So, today I will smile and hide the pain.
I will gleefully accept the gifts and adore them without thinking it was burdensome on the kids to buy them for me.
I will be ready for whatever low-key celebration Colby and the kids have prepared for me, because I know they know what I need even when I don’t.
I will let people love me, even when I don’t feel lovable.
I will turn 44 with a sense of pride, knowing that my mom will forever be 61.
I will celebrate another day of waking up, breathing, loving my family, and being alive.
I’m quite sure the best way to get through this day of my birth is by honoring my mom and what she did to give me life.