Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Pre Birthday Blues

Yesterday was February the first.  January was flipped over on the calendar and so the year carries on…

It’s not yet three months since Andrew died.  Sometimes it just seems he’s been away on a very long trip – he must be home soon.  Then there are moments when it seems longer as I plan for a future without him. 

We have not yet reached the twelve week mark but we have already passed many of the “first without Andrew” memorable days. 

 - Andrew’s birthday – passed!

We still celebrated as we went out to see Harry Potter.  He was supposed to be away anyway – no big deal.
 - Oldest son’s birthday – passed!

Bit subdued, family tea and tried to make the best of it.  Still too numb to really register.

 - Youngest son’s birthday – passed!

A fun filled day with friends, a film and a sleepover.  Followed by a lightsabre fight in the snow the next day.

 - Christmas – passed!

Oh so hard, remember the snow?  It all seems so long ago…

 - New Year – passed!

Well that brought its own set of problems which I refuse to drag on to here.  Family life continues with good and bad however much I’d sometimes like the world to stop and focus solely on my own problems!

And now we come to the time of the year that always fills me with dread.  I always go a bit wobbly as my own birthday approaches.  It’s another year over and the start of my own personal new one. 

I know it will be OK.  My friends all know, I’ve reminded them often enough so it won’t be forgotten.  There will be people to make a fuss of me.

But Andrew never did.  He didn’t understand how special I wanted them to be.

“It’s just another day – you’re not really a year older!”

You don’t need pragmatism on your birthday.  It doesn’t come gift wrapped or in a bouquet! 

My mum and dad recently had some old slides put onto a memory stick so we can view them on the computer.  There are several photos from our birthday parties.  Once more I am transported back in time to a magical, colourful, birthday world.   The party, the presents, the birthday cakes – one fruit and one sponge, the trays laden with frilly bowls of individual jelly, more cakes with pretty coloured icing, sandwiches, sausage rolls and chocolate fingers!

Then there were the party games and being ready far too early and staring out of the window yearning for your friends to arrive and the festivities to begin.

We’ll gloss over the birthday party where I was sent to my room for being obnoxious.  I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t win EVERY game on MY birthday!

They were magical days when I was a princess!

A couple of years ago I got fed up of my birthday passing unmarked and unnoticed so I planned my own grown up dinner party.  Andrew was home and my birthday was a Saturday – perfect!

I made everyone dress up – Andrew refused.

“Just a shirt, no tie.  For me!” I pleaded.

In the end everyone made an effort except him!  He didn’t even get changed into a clean T shirt!

The following year the same thing happened.  He didn’t see the importance and now writing this it makes me so cross.

To me it was – wear a shirt for me because you love me.

To him it was – I don’t need to wear a shirt to prove I love you.

Last year when it turned midnight from Saturday night to Sunday morning and I turned 42 I felt like Cinderella.  My friends had left, Andrew was tired and had already gone to bed and there I was in the kitchen washing up the posh crockery and glasses by myself.

The song on the iPod was “When you were young” by The Killers.

I didn’t cry then, it seemed poetic and kind of funny...

You sit there in your heartache

I had had a good evening, with friends and a glass or two of wine and now my current favourite song was shuffled to the top on the iPod pack.

So now I approach this birthday knowing that this year there is no Andrew to spoil things, no Andrew to NOT buy me a card or a present or a bunch of flowers.  No Andrew to NOT “get it”, NOT to understand how important I want my special day to be.

Maybe this year my expectations are more realistic.  

I’ve trained the boys well and they are already sorted with a present and who knows what secrets besides.

It’s another “first” I have to get through and maybe this one won’t be so bad.
In any case the things that trip me up are far more ordinary…but that’s another story.

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