Warning! This is a Pity Party Post!
February 7, 2005. It would be my first birthday ever without my mother. Not that we were together every year. In fact, we rarely were after I got to be an adult. But it was without her. No matter what happened, she would call to sing to me in her increasingly quavering soprano voice. I’d have a birthday card in the mailbox and, if it didn’t have some money in it, I could expect a package. That wasn’t going to happen this year. There would be no phone call. No card. No package.
After the memorial, I had time to think. That wasn’t a good thing. Before, I’d been too busy to do much of anything except get ready for it. Now since it was over, I started dwelling on what was destined to be a depressing day. Mother was gone. Mother was gone. Mother was gone. Mother was gone!
I’d go through the house, wailing. Twinkle would look at me with big eyes and lay her ears back. She didn’t know this crazy woman. I’d read something, hear something on the radio, see something on TV and think, “Now, I’ll have to remember to tell Mother about that.” Then it would hit me all over again. I couldn’t tell her anything.
When I was at work, I might dissolve in tears while I was sitting at my desk. I tried to control it. Of course, even if I’d had the power, I wouldn’t have wished her back but that didn’t alter the fact that I missed her so much I ached. Whenever I felt my eyes welling up, I’d make a beeline for the bathroom where I’d lean against the wall and sob. Then I’d splash cold water on my face and try to look happy.
In the afternoons, pulling up to the mailbox brought the loss back, too. I’d been so used to sometimes finding a letter in that familiar handwriting but not any more.
When DD called for our weekly visit, it was just six days until my 61st birthday. I dissolved in a puddle of self-pity. I was in a very emotional place, anyway, and this added to it. She tried her best to help me feel better but nothing she said comforted me. It was nice to know she cared. It was futile to try to pull me out of my funk.
To tell the truth, I don’t remember if I spent that birthday at home or with my children. I could create a nice story about it but it would be fiction because I truly don’t know. The events of the previous two months overshadowed everything else.
The rest of February and March came. With it was my new son-in-law’s birthday. Before they were married, DD had told me when it was and suggested I should get him a gift. I informed her I got family members gifts—not boyfriends. Now he was family so I got him the first birthday gift. Then April was DD’s 27th birthday. She was spending it in New York and I was at home. But she still had her mother and her mother tried to make it a happy birthday with the phone call and a present.
Then came May. What happened then would change my history forever.