Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Birthday Without My Mom

Dear Mom -

Today is my birthday. I'm 42, exactly 20 years younger than you were when you died. Maggie told me today she'll be 13 when I die. That means I only have 7 years left. I'm not all that concerned about her premonition considering her exact words were, "When I'm 13 you're going to die and can we have chicken nuggets for dinner?"

You'll be very glad to know Dad did a good job today. He called me this morning and offered to sing Happy Birthday, texted me later and his birthday card arrived in the mail today. Thank you for the check and yes I know it's to use on something just for me! No groceries or gas in the car. I already have a yoga workshop in mind I'll put it towards.

You'll also be glad to know Kim has taken over your job of forgetting the time difference and texting me very early in the morning. Not just on my birthday. Many early mornings my phone beeps and wakes me up before I'm ready. I tell her it annoys me but it makes me smile because it reminds me of you.

I made myself a chocolate mayonnaise cake for my birthday. I used to call you every year for the recipe and I remember last year you yelling at me to write it down. Did you know then I wouldn't be able to call you this year?

I almost started to cry making the cake. Not because I was making my own cake, and not because my little helpers were making a mess, but because you weren't here. I'm still kind of mad at you about that. And then when I was making the icing I hit the wrong button on the electric mixer and powdered sugar went flying everywhere. It's kind of funny now, but not then.

The cake didn't even taste that good. Maybe because I just wasn't into eating a cake I couldn't call you about, or maybe I'm just finally done my "leave me alone, I'm grieving so I'm going to over eat binge". Oh yeah, I've been on quite a binder. You wouldn't be so happy about that.

But my new friend Wanda told me it's how I grieve and I need to let myself do that. She keeps asking me if I've had a good cry and I'm sorry but I haven't. It was actually her idea that I begin writing letters to you.

You'd like Wanda. I wish you were still here so I could tell you about her. Although it's very interesting that she came into my life right after you left me. What's that saying? When the student is ready the teacher will come?

You taught me a lot, Mom. And not just about baking cakes. I guess now I need to move on and learn the lessons your death is supposed to teach me. Because eating this cake isn't teaching me anything except how many bites does it take to get a sugar headache.

It takes four.

Last year you would have told me that.


  1. Thanks for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes. Honesty & beauty does that. xo

  2. letters are good, tears are good, and sometimes eating is good....I have had many birthdays now without my mom and dad,it's just not the same.
    Grief changes, it ebbs and flows, and when you think you are done, it kicks your butt again....but that is because we love and care so deeply. many hugs, much love

  3. Been2Boston (Kelly)April 16, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    Happy Birthday. I know it doesn't seem very happy, though. I like the idea of writing a letter to your mom. Sending you love and peace.

  4. Wanna come over for a massage?

  5. Lovely post, friend. Thinking of you!

  6. a beautiful post. you are such a wonderful woman. your mom did a wonderful job!!!