I’m still working out in my head how I’m going to use this blog vs my other blog, or if I should just merge the two and just have this one……that’s still a work in progress right now. So, I’ll probably play it by ear, and double post for a while. I apologize to those that follow both, but they won’t always be the same, just trying to get this all worked out! Come on, blogging is serious business! 🙂
Today is my mom’s birthday. I won’t share her age, but she should be proud of her age because she looks amazing, naturally. I’m EXTREMELY grateful for THOSE jeans….I mean, I’m almost 40 and most people guess that I’m under 30…..thank you mom and nana!
But I digress. While we are big celebrators in my family, rightfully so, why not celebrate the good stuff in a big way??? I believe everyone should have an amazing birthday and treated like a queen or king on that day. So tonight we celebrate my mom. While she may not like getting older, celebrating and happy times are her favorite and I’m glad that she still has HER mom around who’s well enough to join us! Today is my mom’s day/night and she’s spending it with my Dad and then tonight her mom and children.
Unfortunately, today is very very mixed bag in our family. 16 years ago changed that. It’s horrible for my mom, and honestly, I feel badly for her every single year. 16 years ago on her 50th birthday, her aunt, her father’s younger sister, her closest relative, was killed tragically in an accident. i still feel the same exact lump in my throat as i type this out as I did back then. It’s hard enough to lose a loved one, but to lose a loved one, on your own birthday in such a tragic way, it really isn’t fair.
My Auntie Renee was my Papa’s (significantly) younger sister. I LOVED HER. She was always my favorite relative. When you were in her house you felt family. Warmth. Love. Endless food and never an unkind word. Ok, we all talked shit, but no one was treated poorly!! Auntie Renee could light up a room. Her laugh was infectious and I don’t remember ever in the 22 years I had with her remember her being cross or angry.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. When she first passed, everywhere I went I thought I saw someone who was her, but then they’d turn around and it wasn’t. They say that’s normal when you lose someone and you’re not able to say goodbye. It takes a while for your conscience to comprehend that they are no longer around. You aren’t going to accidentally run into them.
16-years ago when we got the call through the family game of telephone, I was forced, to be an adult within my family for the first time in my life. I’m not complaining, I’m grateful that I never had that burden before. But the accident changed everything. My mom’s sister didn’t want my mom to know that our aunt had passed. She was emphatic that we were to keep it to ourselves and not tell her until the next day so as not to ruin her birthday.
The weird thing is this, I remember that day like it was yesterday. The details I remember are bizarre, and the emotion it evokes is one I’m not that familiar with just from a memory. I know where I was standing. I was at Katz Radio, my very first job after college and I was at my desk, right outside my boss Erik’s office. I was standing, and listening on the phone, and all the noise of the office just stopped. I mean it didn’t, but like on a TV show or movie, I couldn’t hear anything but what was being said into my ear. Oh, here’s that lump back in my stomach. My cousin’s wife, who that would be an insult to call her, SHE IS my cousin too, was calling me. She didn’t agree with my mom’s sister. I don’t know what made her call me, I don’t remember. I don’t remember if she remembers. But she called me and we decided that I had to get in touch with my father ( who was out for the day, sight-seeing with my moms cousin visiting from Michigan).
It was later confirmed that I made the right choice and I thank my cousin Lori for helping me to do so and to encourage me that I could indeed do it.
The rest is history, but, when I think back to the moment that I no longer was a child, and I had to make an adult, responsible decision for my family, was a monumental moment in my life.
So, hug your loved ones a little tighter today, for we never know what tomorrow will bring. ❤
Love to Sheri, Anjee and Erica and the entire extended family and for the loss and memories we have in our hearts and carry with us all the time.
…..and a happy birthday to my mom, who deserves a sadness free special day, but we don’t control how life works and sad as it is, it’s a day of mixed emotions, happy & sad and then we move on. Because life moves on and Auntie Renee wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!