It’s been a year of many firsts. First tragedy in our family. My first Christmas without my parents. First time experiencing an outpouring of endless love from around the world. It’s the first time I have ever gone through the emotions of real anger, deep sorrow, intense grief and what seems like unending loneliness. It’s the first time I have ever questioned God and His ways. Mother’s Day without my mom. Father’s Day without my dad. Mom’s birthday without mom. The list could go on. The year is not done.
Today is my first birthday without the two people who out of great love put me on this earth. I can’t express how deep the pain goes in my chest. I try to take deep breaths but that doesn’t help at all. I try to tell myself that I should be happy, it’s my birthday after all. No matter how hard I try to not think about it, my thoughts go back to them today. Their great love for each other and for all of us.
I miss my mom telling me how I came into this world. I was more than a week overdue. She was in the beginning stages of labor and went to the clinic. They told her she still had a few days to go but she knew they were wrong. So, she decided to walk around the neighborhood, which at the time was bars and weird people hanging around. She walked with my dad driving the car near her in case they needed to rush back to the clinic. Every time she had a contraction she would stop and hold on to the fence. She said that the men at the bar were just staring at her. But she kept on walking. She proved the doctors wrong, as I was born that night at 1a.m. When they told her I was a girl, she told the doctor to not joke with her as that wasn’t funny. You see, she already had two boys and wanted a girl, but didn’t want to get her hopes up.
I wasn’t just her daughter. She and I were close. We shared everything. We were best friends. I knew her heart and she knew mine. When I was an ocean away in college I would call her every day using an international phonecard. We were best friends. Our bond was strong.
That’s why today hurts. Every day hurts. But today is agonizing. I kept myself distracted by work but now there’s no hiding from it. I’ve learned that time is not a healer, as it seems to hurt more as time goes on. I am convinced that only God can heal such a wound.
Today is my birthday. Thank you for all the warm wishes. The best gift is knowing that I have all of you standing behind me. Even though my heart is aching today I am overjoyed by your love.
Mom and Dad, thank you for giving me life and showing me how to live it to the fullest. Can’t wait to hold you again.