I’ve been blogging for a few years, and I always post on my birthday. I do this to share my life with you all, but also to be able to look back years from now and remember how I spent July 11th– the gifts I received, the restaurant where I ate dinner, the good times with my family and the smiles and laughs and how blessed I am that the Good Lord granted me another year on this Earth.
So here is how I spent my 35th birthday:
I knew today would be hard. It’s the first birthday without Mama. Before I went to sleep last night, I knew I would struggle off and on throughout the day. I knew I would cry when I watched the video that she sent me last year of her singing “Happy Birthday”. I knew I would receive texts from dear friends telling me to push through and try to enjoy the day. I knew it would be difficult, but I knew I would make it through. Just like Christmas and Mother’s Day. I would make it through.
Yes, I awoke to texts from dear friends. Yes, I cried while watching the video. And, yes, the funk hit. And I expected that. I knew it would come, but I thought it would go away. I patiently waited for it to go away. I prayed for it to go away.
I stayed in the bed all day. I watched 8 episodes of “The Golden Girls” with my dogs piled on my feet–only getting up to let them outside to pee. My children kept themselves occupied upstairs coloring, playing school, watching television and making crafts. They came downstairs only to eat or ask me to fix a toy or reconnect their devices to Wi-Fi.
All of the birthday texts and Facebook messages I received throughout the day made me incredibly thankful and gave me a full heart, but the depression weaseled itself back in. I knew the only way to escape it was to sleep. So that’s what I did for two hours.
When I woke up, I wanted to go to the cemetery. I got up to shower, but instead I moped around the house eating cookies for twenty minutes and then I decided to crawl back into the bed.
My husband came home from work with intentions to take us out to dinner– as he’s always done for my birthday. I told him I didn’t feel like getting dressed or going anywhere. He understood and went to get BBQ.
I took a much needed shower while he and our children were gone to get the food. The shower has always been a good place to cry– the water conceals the tears and puffiness. So that’s what I did. I cried loudly because no one was home to hear me. I knocked shampoo bottles out of my way and cried until I coughed and choked.
I put clean pajamas on before my family arrived home and we ate pulled pork. We watched “Rear Window” and “The Seven Year Itch”. Those were my mother’s favorite movies, and I felt her near as I watched them on the television. I tinkered with the Go Pro I received today and thought about how funny it will be to strap it to my dog’s back.
My husband and children went to sleep. And, in the quiet, I began to feel extremely sorry for myself– the sorriest I’ve felt for myself all day. Sorry because my mother is dead and I’m 35 and haven’t had another baby yet. I’ve been telling myself for the last 4 years that if I wasn’t pregnant again by 35 that I would quit trying– that the dream of having a 3rd child would no longer be a dream.
So I mourned that loss as well.
And then I got angry. Not angry at my mother’s absence. Or that I can’t conceive. I got angry at myself for being such a big baby. I got angry because I was having such a stupid pity party, despite all of the love and encouragement I had received today from my family and friends– despite how blessed I am to have had a mother who loved me enough to send me a video of her singing to me– despite the fact that it wasn’t merely a coincidence that she sent me that video last year, but rather it was a graceful gift from God. I got angry at the type of person I have become– droning on and on about dead parents and a barren womb and my fear that people think I’m always seeking pity and attention because of it. I got angry because I don’t like the sad person I’ve become. I got angry because I annoy myself and feel unworthy of the encouraging words and prayers that I receive daily from friends and followers.
And then I decided to post this.
Not for pity or attention.
But because I always post on my birthday.
And I might as well post the truth.