After completing “Sharing Shadows,” a memory surfaced. Vivid. An obvious regret… But, I can’t remember ever expressimg how sorry I am. And how grateful I am just the same.
It was Jamie’s fourth birthday…exactly seven weeks before mine. So much milling and scurrying about … Food prep here. Decor set there. First born son, grandson.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice.”
Not me. All I wanted to think about was how it wasn’t my birthday. I decided to boycott celebrating you because I wanted to be celebrated, too. Candles, carrots, cake, surrounding song… I clenched my jaw & pressed out any expression of thanks for who you had already been in our brief four years of life. Crossed arms. Weighty brow.
I’m not sure if you noticed, but your near constant smile and delight did not wane. From meal to gift to dessert, you enjoyed your fourth birthday.
Even seven weeks later when my turn finally came, your smile and delight in my celebration on my day… Excited for me and with me… I realized, even at four, how wrong I was to withhold celebrating you.
You taught me a bit about real rejoicing on that fourth birthday. Thank you. And I wish I could sing Happy Birthday to you again.
Heidi L. Paulec
3 thoughts on “Candles, Cakes, & Crossed Arms”
Oh, Heidi, there was NOTHING you could have done to cause Jamie not to love you unconditionally. You were perfect is his eyes even at 4 years old. Even though, on that particular day, you didn’t celebrate him as you think back like you should have, he always celebrated you. “Twins” are suppose to celebrate birthdays the same day right?
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