Happy birthday to you

Time passes by quickly. It’s a recurring theme in life. It slips passed us while we buy milk, drive to work, make supper. I try to enjoy the small moments with my kids and my husband, but it’s often something I have to remind myself to do, in the midst of the frantic rushing that has become my life since returning to work from my second maternity leave.

With all the rushing around, I sometimes forget to think about anything else. Like the passage of time, and all the things (and people) that I’ve lost.

Nineteen years ago we celebrated your final birthday, and for the life of me I can’t remember a single detail of it. Because at the time, we had not even an inkling that it would be your last. If I had known it would be your last birthday, I’d like to think that I would have locked it away in my memory banks. I would have tried to remember if we went out for supper or stayed home, what kind of cake we had, whether or not we ended the evening with a visit to Grandma’s house.

In the past 19 years, I’ve had a full life, filled with happiness and sorrow; the positive outweighing the bad. But for every moment of pure joy, it’s tainted with the faintest of shadows of your absence.  There are days when the loss feels like a fresh wound, others a distant memory. It’s not linear. There is no clear ending and beginning to grief.

Today I do not grieve a life lost; I celebrate a life lived; a person who taught me the importance of valuing each person you meet, helping others when you have the means. My little munchkins may never have had the chance to meet you, but they will know you. Your photo will always be prominently displayed on my bookshelf, and your story will be told.

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2 thoughts on “Happy birthday to you

  1. I hope you don’t mind I posted this to my FB page. I thought my sisters needed a good cry with their morning coffee. I agree…time passes by too quickly…and sometimes we all need to take a moment to reflect on the impact one person has made on our life. Today, I will try to emulate the character and charm that your dad projected each day so effortlessly ( and maybe…I will throw in a prank or two)!

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