They say it’s your birthday.
John would have been 48 today. It’s odd to think that in two years, I’ll have been alive longer than he was. He was always supposed to be older than me. One day he won’t be.
Quite a few people have checked in on me today, hoping I’m ok. I didn’t know what to say. I am ok? I’m wondering what he’d look like now? How much gray would be in his scruff, how many more tattoos would he have? I didn’t know what to think really.
I thought maybe they didn’t know what to think or feel, so they wanted to know how I was feeling and thinking this day through so that they could do what I was doing. They wanted to know how I was coping with yet another milestone. A sad one, but still. A milestone.
But maybe they just miss him, and they just want to know I’m ok.
I never cared for birthdays and now I care for them even less. Odd, really. You’d think that because of my losses, maybe I should care about them more. Embrace them and celebrate the lives that began on those days. But I don’t. I can’t imagine fussing over someone more on one day over the other. If I love that person, care for them and want them to live forever, I can’t place an importance on one day over the others. Don’t get me wrong, I know I should, and I do try for children and teenagers.
My last birthday with John was good. But bad.
He spent way too much money that I found out he didn’t have. He let something slip, I got angry and we actually had a mini fight. We never fought much at all. Ever. So why on that day. I can’t say. Getting over that memory will be tough. It will be a while before I’m ever to acknowledge my birthday. But why bother. As my father said less than 2 years before his death, “it’s all just a countdown to the big check out”.
Happy thoughts, Dad, happy thoughts.
Maybe that’s why? I don’t want anyone else I love to die. The only way to stop that is to halt birthdays. They only make you older. I know ageing is a privilege denied to many, you don’t need to tell me that, but I’d rather just stay put. Like a vampire, without the whole shielding from the sun stuff.
I feel like I have so many things to see and do, and that I’m running very short on time.
So back to today. His birthday. I’m at work. Poking holes in the clouds and bringing people to their holidays, back home, to a meeting, or maybe a wedding, and probably a funeral or two. We also had a family with a child on a wish flight. His wish, sadly, most likely his dying wish, was to go to Disney land. So now I feel like a total jerk saying birthdays suck. These two parents, and their parents, and every member of that family just want as many birthdays as they can get with this kid. And I’m saying birthdays are stupid days and should be ignored.
I suppose like anything in this world, there’s a balance. It’s tricky to find that balance. You end up tipping over, then tipping back, but hopefully one day the perfect spot is found.
I’ve decided that when I get home tonight, I’m calling John’s mum. We’ll chat about the usual stuff: weather, pets, other days, but we will also perhaps talk about John. The great things he did that made me want him to have as many birthdays as possible.
I think he’d like that. He didn’t think he did enough good things. But he did.
He’d like that and a big cake.