Today is my birthday. I am 31 now. You are still 32.
It is also 3 months since you passed.
You knew me as strong headed 30 year old woman about to graduate law school with three kids and pregnant.
You don’t know me as this Rochelle, who is 31. In the deepest parts of sadness I have ever known. Not pregnant. Single mom to 4. Hoping to graduate still. Writing away and trying to figure out what the hell happened.
When October comes. You will still be 32. Nothing about you will ever change, but I will change every day.
Next year my birthday will come. I will be 32.
We were about a year and a half apart in age.
Today we are now a year and 3 months apart. Every day I get closer and closer to your age until I will eventually pass you. Your kids may even pass you.
I wonder how I will reflect on this if I live to be 50. You will still be 32. You will look 32. I will have wrinkles. I will sag. You never will. I may know what its like to complain of old age. Yet you wont.
I might get an “over the hill,” birthday card one day. Something you will never have. Maybe my friends will laugh when I get my AARP card one day- but I won’t laugh. It will just hurt.
When I hear people complain about their age now I shudder. I wish you could complain. I am not mad at them, I just wish they knew. I wish you could have been old.
I have no desire to celebrate my birthday. Like most other things, it only brings me disgust now. How disgusting I live on another year but you are frozen in time. I am here in March on my birthday but you still think Christmas is 3 days away.
I long every day to make sense of this chaos and nothing. I never get anywhere. I spend every second thinking of you and wondering. I make no progress figuring out where you are or why. It’s just a death sentence I did not deserve, nor did you.
Like everything else, my birthdays used to be great. Not because we had a lot of money or something, we didn’t. But Jesse made sure it didn’t feel any different.
We couldn’t afford a sitter, spa day, and resort with all the works. This always bothered Jesse so much. But it was okay, it was not our time for that yet. I was fine with it.
I did not need those things though. Jesse was such a good cook and brought me breakfast in bed. He always gave me a massage, not just for my birthday. All the time. His gifts were not costly jewels that cost thousands… they were gifts from his heart.
I do not know anyone else that would put in the labor to a gift of mine like he would. If he did buy me something that was not handmade- it was the best version of that item. He spent so much time reading reviews and comparing things to make sure I had the best blender or coffee pot there was, if that happened to be my gift.
I just miss his effort. It was unmatched. If we didn’t have money for mail ordered flowers or chocolate covered fruit that wasn’t going to stop him. He would grab the things he needed and make it himself or go on a search in the fields for the perfect flowers.
It is easy to swipe a card. It is hard to replicate these items without money because they take time. Something most people do not want to give. Jesse was a time giver. I had these things whether we had money for them or we did not.
I am sitting in my bed and it’s completely silent, besides the fan. I haven’t heard “you are going to have the best birthday tomorrow! I couldn’t get you everything I wanted to but I know you’re going to love it.” He said the same thing every year. I don’t think he would have ever been completely satisfied with whatever it was he was going to give me.
Today was pretty awful. My friends came and brought me lunch. I received tons of messages. But I hurt all day. I cried all day. I am mad I get a birthday and he doesn’t. I am mad my house was silent. I am mad we wont be going to a dinner this weekend or he won’t be cooking me one tonight.
Birthdays when your loved one is gone is just a nasty slap in the face. Salt in a wound. Life giving you an extra kick when it’s already beat the shit out of you.