Anniversaries.

A year ago today my dad was still alive in hospital. I was enjoying a Wrestlemania themed birthday evening with my family (don’t ask) and then was going to visit Dad in hospital with my sister.

I have a lovely picture of my Dad and I from that visit, forehead’s together. He has just given me a present which he had kept in his hospital bedside table. He told me how glad he was that I had come to see him on my birthday.

However the smiles aren’t reaching either of our eyes. Dad is pale and tired. I’m already mourning my Dad, wondering and hoping he will come home this time but knowing this is probably my last birthday with him. It was.

I planned my trip to purposefully cover my birthday. I’ve had no cards or presents today and that’s absolutely fine. Dad hasn’t given me his hallmark newspaper-wrapped hand carved gift that he’d spent weeks planning and making. (My house is full of them and I love each and every one.) Dad hasn’t made my breakfast and I haven’t seen my sisters. I miss them all but for this year, the first year, this is what I needed: to escape from the memories. From what should have been and always was.

This morning I drove my children to the local village and we each selected a birthday cake from the patisserie.

I got ready listening to my favourite songs on the record player and danced with my son as he giggled at my exuberance.

We then went to a local restaurant for the ‘plat du jour’ and my children laughed at my nervous attempts to communicate in French with the poor waiter. My driving is much better though!

We have relaxed in the sunshine this afternoon and then went for a walk in the countryside to feed the local donkey.

It’s been a lovely day. It doesn’t feel like my birthday but that’s what I wanted. Dad made birthdays, just like he made Christmas and Easter and every other holiday and festival. Dad made every day, in fact, even when he was ill.

We are quickly approaching the anniversary of my Dad’s death. I can’t help but re-live each moment as each day passes. I suppose this is part of the process. It seems an age since I last saw him, held him, cuddled him and yet feels like only yesterday that he died.

Life is funny like that.

Although I long to see and hear my Dad today, I’m actually missing my sisters the most. Maybe because I know I could have seen them today. We are the three musketeers, desperately trying to live positively through this experience and replace something irreplaceable with love and support for each other. I love them so much. I know it made Dad happy that we are so close and look out for each other.

This evening my children and I have played dominoes and cards and I completely forgot what day it was. Birthday or not, this holiday has meant that I am spending quality time with my children and that’s the most important thing. My Dad taught me that.

2 thoughts on “Anniversaries.

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