I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and thirty two years will have gone by in a flash. I’ll try to remember different events that occurred on this day and they will be one distant fog. Oh, there will be the dinners, maybe a movie, occasionally a live show, maybe a concert wrapped around the date of the year. Tomorrow I will celebrate alone, and though I am told we shouldn’t feel bad about feeling bad, it is rather difficult not to feel rather sad.
Someone if I gave them a chance would say to me with discern ‘it’s just another day, get over it.’ That’s all a person is really left with when nothing else is allowed to interfere with the reality of this manner of grief. Always a week before Christmas, always time to set up some kind of a holiday treat. One year it was Handel’s Messiah at Orchestra Hall, another it was the New Standards at the State Theater – lots of visits to the Guthrie, Broadway on Tour, U2 on the floor, live music – Davina and the Vagabonds. One year a surprise birthday party and we woke to a blizzard reducing our numbers from around a few dozen to less than ten. Every time was meant though, to be a celebration, as will tomorrow be as well. We are meant to celebrate our lives and not criticize a person’s happiness.
This year my friend has experienced loss, the sort of which none of us wish to go through, hard decisions, the loss of a social life and finally the departure of her mentor, the woman that taught her everything there is to know about being a woman in the society she was raised. There will be angels circling her aura throughout the day to offer her peace of mind and good will. I pray for the same as much as I wonder in my own mind how all of this time has gone by and suddenly here we are, sending out incorrect addresses to friends and walking past single family homes knowing those days are behind us. Now we simply go forward, just another day, a low temperature winter morning without any snow. Just another day.
I’m listening to my favorite Dire Straits album right now and my favorite song is about to play. ‘Why Worry Now’ is a song that makes me want to cry. It gives me the opportunity to do so, therefore I will take advantage of the moment and have a good cry. There was a time when the artistry of the eccentric was an attractive attribute to carry around in my life and somehow I just forgot to allow that part of me might manifest itself in a positive manner. Instead there are more days than not that I allow myself to be a shell of my true inner being, and I just cannot seem to find a way to change the course of the river that flows right through me.
I was married to the same woman for a very long time. Thirty years is half of my life, half of our lives, and suddenly tonight all it is is a reflection of who we once were culminating in who we are now today. I was just walking outside with my dog and I had an epiphany that if one day I was penniless I would still care about a woman I knew for three decades of my life, a woman whose day I would celebrate tomorrow every year for the last thirty years, for the remainder of my own years. That is a tradition, not an expectation.
That’s what makes birthdays special – really – another day in our lives. Happy birthday ‘twelve seventeeners.’
© Thom Amundsen 12/2020