Well, I have survived another crazy week. And here’s the secret, yesterday was my birthday. I don’t always appreciate it for the obvious reasons, but even before that fateful day, I didn’t dig it. I didn’t celebrate it until I was about 10, and by then, all the opportunities for special memories had passed (mom was a Jehova’s Witness, please don’t ask about it, I don’t have the answers).
But this birthday was exciting because I was playing single mom, sick of the week in general and actually recovering from my fantastic plague from Wednesday. My husband came home to a wife that was probably like a cat fresh from the bath. Ornery.
So aside from the fact that it would have been a crappy day if it wasn’t my birthday, that just made it worse. Let me explain:
My birthday has become a paradox in greetings. It’s like “I hope you enjoy your special day, and don’t forget that 3,000 people died in the horrible event that happened on this day”. I will never forget. You know what I remember most about that whole day? I remember that night, after the details had come pouring in, after the president’s speech, I thought “I better go look up at the sky. I will never see a sky with no planes in it ever again”. I tried to find an unusual angle to the horrible event that had unfolded. I think a lot of people did. But I promise you, I will never forget. It’s not possible.
People always say “it’s your day, do whatever you want.” And when people say that to me, it’s a clue to me that day will be nothing like what I want. It’s just how it works. My birthday has always been a mess, plans always fall apart, people bail out or try to convince me that I want to do what they want. I just kind of give up.
“My day” has been given to people who were heroes, people who lost, people who were lost. Those people can have it. I can pick any of the other 364 days to be mine. They don’t quite have that option.