Ten years ago today was the last time I got to talk with my mom. She was in a hospital. I dressed sort of cute to visit a hospital, and she asked me why and the reason was for her, for my birthday. Just the night before she’d been planning to make me a special dinner. But cancer had made her forget, so I just smiled and said, “no reason.” And then she died a few long days later. I spent most of the last 10 years not celebrating my birthday, shutting it out and pissing people off who wanted to make me feel loved, who wanted to help that wound heal. But my birthday reminded me of that last one with her, and I stayed attached to it–because it was the last one. I usually just avoided the whole subject.
Finally last year when I moved to New York and a lot of things in life were changing and opening up for me, and I decided I would celebrate life, affirm the day. Then I got bronchitis–the universe has a great sense of humor. This year, I’m fortunate and blessed to have a full day ahead of me. There will be laughing and champagne and friends, and, I hope, a celebration of all of our lives: a focus on what’s been found, not what’s been lost. I miss my family every day, but I am also a very fortunate girl who has found the love and support of a much larger family of friends–old and new, near and far. New York, you’re something else. Thank you.