Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me...Without Him

It's time to celebrate another birthday when my only wish is for one more birthday with him.

This has been a tough week. It seems like ever since Sunday it has been one "gotcha" moment after the next. Sunday it was seeing some of his favorite foods in the cupboard while making lunch for my son. Monday it was walking the streets in NYC only to be reminded of our many trips to MSKCC for treatments. Tuesday it was a meeting for work in the same place where I got that call in January 2010 - I'm in the emergency room and they don't yet know what's wrong. Last night it was the sickening moment when I realized I had lost his wedding band - the one I've been wearing since I slid it off his finger before his burial. Now it's thinking back over all the birthdays we shared together and wishing we had just one more.

While cleaning the house (he would be so proud) I happened to come across both the first birthday card he ever gave me and the last. Each sentimental in their own way. So very glad to have them now. When we were young and newly dating he took up the whole inside of the card writing to me. Last year's card was simply signed "Love, Joe". By the time my birthday rolled around last year, we had both gotten much better at speaking our love to each other every day instead of waiting to write about it in a card - a welcome shift for this extrovert who married an introvert. However, now that he is gone, I am so thankful for those cards and notes we exchanged over the years and happy for the many times he expressed in writing that which was difficult for him to say.

In that very first card he wrote what became his traditional birthday greeting to me - "I can't believe you're only two years younger than me now, pretty soon you'll catch up to me." While it breaks my heart that he won't turn 37 in one month (maintaining our 3 year age separation), I find comfort in some amazing memories - like this one from last year...


Joe had our little dude all prepared to present Mom with her birthday cards and goodies. It was my "sweetest" birthday yet and not only because my gifts included a bag of my favorite candy.

As far as I'm concerned I have already received my birthday gift this year. Around 10pm I received a call from my mom that they found the lost wedding band at their house. What lovely news and how happy I will be to slip it back on my finger in the morning.

While my birthday this year is sure to bring some tears it will also bring some precious time with family and friends and if these last two years have taught me anything, it's the importance of making the most of our moments. 

It seems fitting to end this my first blog post with something that I used on the blog I maintained during Joe's illness. I wrote it the day before he passed and it seems even more powerful to me now - "Hug your loved ones and smile at a stranger. Today only comes once." May we all live like that.

9 comments:

  1. Anne,
    I am honored to be the first to comment on your brand spanking new blog.
    I encourage you to write as often as possible. It will help you tremendously.
    Your emotional words painted a beautiful picture of Joe. I could hear his voice and see him standing by the side of the bed next to Domani as he waited for you to celebrate your "only 2 years younger than me now" birthday once again.
    Happy Birthday, my sweet daughter.
    I love you.

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    1. Somehow I knew you would be my first comment and it is only fitting. I'm glad to have one more place to interact with you.

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  2. Anne, I eagerly await every blog that Lynda writes. Now, I will be following you, as well. Your writing brings back special moments for me. Especially, the day that I first met you realizing how much you and Joe were in love with each other.

    Looking forward to seeing you later. Happy Birthday.

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    1. So glad to hear that I haven't bored you already :-) I'm happy to have another way to interact with you and Mom and share about life.

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  3. love the new blog!! can't wait to read more!! :)

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    1. Thanks, Naomi! Even with only two posts it has been very helpful to write.

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  4. Anne, I will anxiously await every new post. I have always enjoyed your gift for writing and the unique insight you so often bring to your reader. With love and support, Dad.

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    1. Thanks, Dad. Maybe I will also inspire you to write more. A little healthy competition within the family, huh?

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  5. Hi there - I have come to your blog via Lynda's post. I have been an avid reader of her work since last November or so and tried, in even the smallest way, to support her when Joe died. You have captured me already. I am eager to read more of what you write.

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