It's my birthday...

Today is my birthday. It's hard for me to celebrate my birthday, and it's something I have tried to do since my marriage ended, not altogether successfully. There's something raw about this day for me. My ex said I was just plain weird around my birthday. I think it's because I miss my father, and my birthday, with gifts, a gathering of family, dinner out, was the day he celebrated his daughter. I felt honoured in ways that he could never know growing up because other things were going on at home while he was on all those business trips. There have been many years when my mother didn't give me a present at all, but hey, I've done that back too. She didn't want a child, neither did he, their marriage in crisis and about to end, but then me. She wished me out of existence many, many times, he fell in love with his little daughter, and treated me like an exquisite human being, and always did, the whole time he was alive. My brothers and I have never really recovered from losing him.

Anyway, it's my birthday, I'm supposed to celebrate this day that I was born 54 years ago, and I find I think of the wonderful celebrations my Dad had for me on this day, and I feel blessed and sad. My brother and his beautiful children dropped by on the weekend. My mother sent an email from South Africa where she's wintering. I've received a couple of emails from friends. Tonight two dear friends who I know through yoga, one of whom I did teacher training with, the other who came to my class for years, both of whom I've chanted with, are taking me out for dinner. I haven't seen them in about 3 years, so that'll be wonderful. I don't know if my daughter wants to do anything, we'll see.

I wish I could just forget about my birthday, really. Grieving never ends, it's cyclical, and my birthday triggers memories of a time that's long past. My father died 22 years ago.

So, Dad, thanks for all those birthdays, for honouring me, my life, and I am trying hard to bring that within so that I can celebrate myself in all the ways you would have wished.

Photos: The top one was me at 3 months; the middle one is me at 20 in front of the maternity wing of the hospital where I was born in Sinoia, Zimbabwe; the last one is my Dad and I in 1980.

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