Tomorrow is Amy’s birthday. Just another day to most people. A summer day, when the forecast is thunderstorms. For our family, it’s not just another day in our life but a painful reminder of “who” is missing from our family again on her birthday.
Tomorrow, there should be balloons and flowers in the house, birthday text exchanges, singing, presents, coordinating our plans on where we will go for dinner to celebrate Amy’s birthday, birthday cake (Amy’s favorite cake was made by me each year — marble cake with homemade buttercream frosting). Although Amy was in excellent shape, took pride in being so fit and watched what she ate during the week, she could easily polish off that entire cake in 3 days…
While some will continue to do their loved one’s favorite things on their birthday, I am not able to bake that cake. However, I will buy balloons, flowers and decorate the cemetery with the origami cranes my friends lovingly folded. Actually, I may do the cranes today because of the weather forecast.
Tomorrow, my husband and I will have lunch with a group of nuns from the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament at the St. Katharine Drexel National Shrine, so I can give them the lap blankets that my family, friends and I made in memory of Amy. Later in the day, we will get together with our son and daughter to share a casual meal and toast Amy.
As I write this and think about spending another day, Amy’s birthday, without her, I feel physically ill. Last year, we were all in shock as we made our way to the cemetery on Amy’s birthday. Her birthday present is still in the unopened Amazon box.
What the hell happened to our life? Why does my life revolve around memories and paying tribute to my daughter instead of living life with Amy. More importantly, why isn’t Amy here living her life and celebrating her birthday with us? Things have never been the same since August 4, 2013, when that trapped door opened and swallowed us up into this world of painful longing and despair on the other side of losing my child.
Yesterday, I had a lovely visit with my two nieces, who traveled to see me from Maryland. Words do little justice to express how much their visit meant to me. They made Sunday, the worst day of the week, a good day. Thank you Marisa and Jenny!
One of my sisters arrived the night before all ready to decorate Amy’s grave for her upcoming birthday. Anyone who knew Amy, knows how much her birthday meant to her. We all went to the Shrine prior to going to the cemetery and my nieces bought a few things, including a dream catcher, made of feathers, of course, to take to the gravesite. Later, my sister went back and spent 1.5 hours trying to decorate a tombstone. God bless her as that is no easy task and even more frustrating is that who knows how long the cemetery police will allow those items to remain? Since Devastation Day is 8 days before Amy’s birthday, there were still items thoughtfully placed there too… I want to scream or put up a sign that says: look at this young woman’s age when she died; look at the dates on the tombstone! Can you please cut us a break and allow us to do something for my daughter — our little attempt to add some life to the most sobering and painful place we visit regularly!?!?
What hurts more? Devastation Day or Amy’s birthday? Why do I even have to ponder this? It’s all one big freaking nightmare!!
But I continue to remain grateful to all who continue to love and honor my daughter, Amy, in so many ways. Make no mistake though, that I would give anything to rewrite this history and not to be writing on this blog today. I wish with all of my heart that I was not going to a cemetery and looking for creative ways to honor my daughter’s life. I wish I was just out shopping for balloons, flowers, presents and stuff to make Amy’s cake while juggling my normal work day. I wish it didn’t matter if it was going to rain tomorrow and ruin our cranes. I wish I wasn’t sobbing as I write this at the very thought of another birthday without my Amy.
Ready or not — tomorrow is Amy’s birthday.