Last week, April 15th, was my birthday. It was also the 5th anniversary of the day my late husband and I learned his cancer was terminal. However, it was his birthday, six days later, that was the hardest day of my life. It was his 50th--what he called the 33rd anniversary of his 18th birthday--and I knew the entire time I prepared his favorite cherry crisp and decorated his hospital room, that it would be his very last birthday. Family came, friends sent cards and balloon bouquets. We were together, and the memories still bring tears, but they also bring the joy of almost 30 years together.
One thing I've learned over the last five years is that it's impossible to feel joy unless you also accept the pain. Memories come both ways, and to enjoy the happy ones, we have to welcome the ones that bring tears as well.
Next month, on May 22nd, the family will gather again to celebrate our granddaughter's very first birthday. Somehow, I suspect Dave will be giving Annabella a thumbs-up, and find some way to teach her some kind of mischief....
April 21st, 2005