Saturday, September 17, 2011

you've had a birthday shout hooray!

It's my mom's birthday today. She would be 52.

If she were still here this day would be filled with phone calls from friends and family wishing her their best and in some cases reminding her that she is old now. Aaron would have decorated the house the night before with the same "Happy Birthday" streamers and balloons that we've used for every birthday for the past 30 years. I would have previously done all of the birthday shopping and wrapping and hidden the presents somewhere in the house. My mom would have a relaxing day, maybe go to Sundance for lunch with Nancy or get a massage, or possibly both.

We would be going to Teppankyaki or Outback for dinner and probably stuff ourselves to the max. After trying to catch flaming hot shrimp in our mouths we would waddle to the car and drive ourselves home just to indulge further in the birthday celebration. Home would be filled with jamoca almond fudge ice cream cake from Baskin Robbin's, my dad humming a key so we could pretend to be even remotely good at singing "Happy Birthday", Diane would be with us (it's never a real bday without Diane), candles would be blown out, a wish made and presents would be opened. As part of our family tradition, the birthday cards would be selected previously with great care, a funny and slightly inappropriate card always goes a long way in the Gardner household. Andrew and I would have gotten her something cute that she wanted from Nordstrom, a purse, a cute top, or shoes. Aaron would have gotten her a book or a movie as per request and my dad would have gotten her an iPad. (We can dream right?)

Jared, Rose and Tyler (and Mason!) would call around this time to sing her "Happy Birthday" and she'd probably get teary and that would remind us all why birthday's are so happy. Smiles, laughter and "love you, Happy Birthday mom"s would fill the entire house and we would all be content.

To calm our bulging stomachs we would pull out her photo albums and force my mom to tell us about each photo in detail; who she was with, what they were doing, how old she was...and she would answer every question with a glimmer of nostalgia in her eyes. Reluctantly, the stories would stop, heavy eyelids would force Andrew and I to drive back to SLC and we would leave with lots of hugs, "I love you"s and everyone walking us to our car to wave us goodbye as we drive away.

I wish things were different. Daydreaming about it is fun though. Fun in a "cry my eyes out" sort of way but still has it's moments of fun. I can picture exactly what she would look like and her expressions. Her huge smile while we sing happy birthday even though we are so off key and the start of a tear when Tyler proudly tells her all about the present he made her.

It's been 2 and a half years. Sometimes it feels like an eternity and sometimes it feels so raw. Today it just feels raw. This helps though

Until we meet again mom, I am so grateful for you.
I love you.