Today was our first extended family gathering since mom has passed. Our family has gotten together every month or every other month all my life to celebrate the birthdays of our family members. There was never a good excuse to miss this lunch. If you tried, you would be going on a guilt trip! I have always enjoyed these lunches. My cousins were my first friends, other than my brothers of course. There was an obvious void at today’s gathering. Not only did my mother pass in August, but so did my uncle. The husband of the aunt that I am named after. The grief I feel for my Aunt Sherry can not be put into words. She has lost her two best friends and she lost them within 20 days of each other. It felt odd walking in there. It was odd seeing my dad standing alone as he talked to everybody. It was heartbreaking seeing my aunt busy herself to keep from breaking down. I know that feeling. I missed her laughter today. I missed peaking around the corner to make sure she wasn’t alone (she never was). I missed more than anything that voice singing me happy birthday. That smile she always gave me. That hug as she would sit next to me. Her voice yelling out over the talk and laughter saying “Hey someone take their picture!” I know what she would have said today…..”I can’t believe my babies are turning 30. I certainly don’t feel old enough to have babies that are 30.” I am so thankful for my kids sitting in my lap because I was able to focus on them and fight back the tears.
It is so hard to put my emotions about the day in words. It’s a feeling. It’s that empty feeling. That heavy feeling. That feeling that something just isn’t right. Someone at church today told me that birthdays were the hardest for him when his mother passed. She was always the first to call him. That is true of my mother as well. I would get a text at midnight so that she would be the first to wish me a happy birthday. I of course always received a phone call at a normal time in the morning as well! How I will miss hearing that voice sing happy birthday to me over the phone on October 27.
Blessing of the Day: Hearing from a few people that reading my journal entries has been inspiring and how great it is that people will be able to read thoughts that they may be having as well.