Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Day Before
Okay, so tomorrow is my birthday. Before you get all smiley, and start sucking in breath to say; "OH, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!",
I am not particularly excited. That's putting it mildly.
NO, I don't care that I'll be 39. Numbers don't stick in my head very well, so chances are I've already been telling people I'm 39 for months.
See, here's the problem: last year, when I turned 38, my Dad handed me a card that he had signed, and Mom had scrawled out "Mom" on. In the hospital. Specifically, the PALLIATIVE CARE room, yo. I pretended to read it, which meant at the time I let my eyes go blurry, made them move back and forth like I was reading something, and then faked a smile, and said; "thanks!" And then my Mom died 5 days later.
So you see,
I'm not particularly jazzed up about the greasy food, the cake, the candling, and the singing of that song. I'm kind of thinking that if my Mom can't be here to make me the Ina Garten COCONUT CAKE, what's the freaking point?
But then again, I've been an angsty jerk about my birthday for ages. It all started when I was a fresh, young cynic in highschool. There I'd be, moping around in my Morrissey t-shirt, spitting out the same gem every year about my birthday: "yeah, another year of having seen too much, and accomplished too little."
See that? I was a party EVEN THEN!
Oh, I wasn't always this way. Four year old karen was super excited for her birthday. She chose hot dogs as her special meal. One year I got roller skates that strapped on to my running shoes. One year I got KEN DOLL. He was all mysterious and exciting--a departure from the FEMALE DOMINATED world of dolls. One year I was old enough to have boys and girls at my party. We played "Truth or Dare," and it was exciting, and a little bit bad. But the best year? The best year was when I turned 31, and I was in the Dominican with my entire family. I was young, and still felt pretty, with a tropical flower in my hair. The waiter at the restaurant was kind, and called me "niña." My birthday fell on the conclusion of a really wonderful trip.
So, do I still feel like it's just another year of having seen too much and accomplished too little? Hm..yes and no. Seen too much--haven't we all. All of us who have lost people who were so very important in our lives, seeing the world change from a place where we used to send letters to a place where we have to be turned on and tuned in at all times, seeing jobs disappear in our own cities, seeing the ever-increasing impact of man on the world. So yes, we're all in that boat.
And as for accomplishments? Well, that's the challenge isn't it: to do something that has meaning, that makes a difference before we all leave this Earth one day.
I don't know, maybe it won't be so bad. I'm not doing this for me, after all, but for the people who love me. The ones who are still here. And tomorrow, as I do every morning, when I'm climbing that hill for my walk, I'll keep going, for my mother.
but people, seriously,
SAVE IT :)