Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Baby me. I was caught off guard by tears spitting out last night as I was getting dressed to go for an early birthday dinner. I realized I wouldn't get a card from my Mom today. That she wouldn't be calling. And that she is the reason that I have a birthday. Juliana wouldn't let me say I'm okay and be alone when she noticed my tears. She sat next to me and put her arms around me, and said she understands. Jeff gave me the most beautiful necklace. We had a delicious dinner, all of us packed into a booth, eating off of each other's plates. Roman and I had a blanket my mom had knit for him keeping our laps warm. Crowded. Happy. Full. Mary Anna slept through it. We had yummy Jeni's ice cream sandwiches when we got home. Later, in the dark of my room as I nursed Mary Anna around 2am I felt myself sinking into her with my gaze. Thinking of how Mom did just the same with me. In the dark. So close and tender. In the shadowy parts of my emotion today I feel a bit orphaned. If I allow myself to step into some light however, there is just so much.
My mother-in-law sent me a Nordstroms gift card. I think I'll go spend it today. My phone started buzzing early this morning, across the room. I guessed in my mind who was texting, calling. I was right. Pierrette brought me a Fat Tire and a cupcake about the same size. My sister Eleni sent me a picture of Mom and I at the beach from years ago, gazing out at the water together. Sitting just the same on the sand. Same broad shoulders. She said she was sorry I had to have the first birthday without Mom. She made it better for me. Juliana suggested manicures and pedicures later today.
Then a voicemail from my dad who has never been known for remembering anyone's birthday because he has never had to. He sang Happy Birthday to me. I wasn't expecting it. And I had already decided that I was fine if he didn't remember. But there it was, my favorite gift. I sat on the edge of my bed crying, holding the phone. And one hand over my mouth, as he sang through his thick Greek accent (which gave me a little laugh too). Echoing, no doubt, through his big house. But I heard joy in his voice when he followed it with "I can't believe my baby is in her 40s."
Me either, Daddy.
I know she celebrates me still. I feel it.