Oh, those years on the earth...

It's my birthday, the double high-five. Nothing special, but I did buy a silk dress which I am wearing at work. Perhaps I'll try to compose some images and see what might emerge from them. It's a difficult day for me, began at 5:15am with sadness, but I'm being brave... and trying to make it like any other day, ignoring the undercurrents, their deep swelling. It's not the age - I celebrate that, seeing myself as only half way through. But, oh, losses, family, really my Dad, such a long time ago now, the ways in which one is honoured, cherished, treasured and loved. Being born was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me, and can I say that after all these years? Does anyone understand this? It's not an easy day. Tomorrow I will probably go to a performance in celebration of International Women's Day with some women friends and celebrate quietly then. Oh, should I post this?

I'll update this as I write it. Please forgive how blatantly emotional.

I woke early, tears in the darkness.

Ironing the black silk dress with cream polka dots like full moons, a few ruffles over the bodice. It ties at the waist. Underneath a silky black chemise with a thick hem of lace that falls below. Since it is Winter, and cold, a wool shirt, the weave, a light-weight worsted, slightly stretchy, in black. An aquamarine pendant surrounded in diamonds, a birthday gift, the last one, from my father before he died.

I remember him on this day, the day he celebrated me, more than I do on the day that commemorated his birth.

The day moves into its heaving. Why can't it disappear into an ordinary day? By evening grief wears itself into memory again.

There are beautiful wishes from friends, and later perhaps my mother, and perhaps my brothers will call, my son certainly will. Only my Dad cared about birthdays, and not his, he wanted no special attention. None of us care that much about birthdays. Only why the slide into grief, the remembrances. As the years have gone on, it's gotten worse, too, missing someone who died 23 years ago now. To acknowledge it as a day of grief? How very odd indeed. Therefore I want to hide the truth of what day it is. You understand.

The day of life, remembering death. Mourning amidst quiet celebration of the day one embarked on life, commemorating the day of emergence, the rhythm of the passing years.

Later now, and the evening mellowed... sitting with my daughter while she does homework, working through things with our banter, the light on the table glistening, her hair, her high cheek bones, enjoying her beauty, sparkle, and one of those soul-baring talks with my brother while she walked the dog, and talking for nearly an hour with my son by phone, so gentle, so wonderful, these simple pleasures, such blessings. In the end, I am a family woman.

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