In the days leading up to my birthday last week, I was listening to a lot of ’70s music.
I spent a lot of time reflecting, driving around in my car. Listening to music with real purpose to it. I went to bed the night of June 30th, and I tossed and turned. I tend to suffer from insomnia from time to time, and couldn’t get comfortable.
I couldn’t fall asleep no matter which position I was in. When I woke up the morning of July 1st on my birthday, I felt really sad. I couldn’t figure out why. Then I remembered this was the first birthday in my entire life my mother wasn’t going to leave me her goofy message.
Every year on my birthday, my mother would call and try to be the first to sing Happy Birthday in her horrific singing voice. Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get more in touch with my feelings. Since the day my mom died, a few days after Labor Day, I’ve not been grieving, but today really hit me hard.
For the first time in my entire life, I don’t have my mother wishing me a happy birthday. My mother would always send me cards, goofy ones, like I was four years old. She’d always make sure they were in my mailbox a few days before my birthday. As she got older and she had less money, her presents didn’t mean anything to me. What meant more to me were the cards and the really goofy voicemail message. I really felt my mother that morning of my birthday and I still do.
As I was driving around Los Angeles going to appointments, I felt so sad on my birthday. I had tears in my eyes as I was driving. I was listening to David Soul, “Don’t Give Up On Us Baby.”
Everything triggered me that morning. I know you’re supposed to feel so happy on your birthday. Damn, I felt sad. It’s the first birthday without my mom. Even though I haven’t spent a birthday with her in so many years, I’ll never hear her voice singing me that song ever again. Maybe when she was alive, I didn’t appreciate it enough. As most of us never do.
We’re so caught up in our day-to-day world. We’re so caught up in our day-to-day life. We’re so caught up in our grind. We’re so caught up in making money, and we’re so caught up in everything else that we forget sometimes the people who brought us into our lives. July 2nd was my Mom’s birthday. It was the first birthday that she wasn’t around.
Our birthdays were always interlocked and special.
We would celebrate them together. When I was going to camp, I would always celebrate my birthday before I left with my Mom. It would always be a lobster dinner. I loved lobster dinners. That was my favorite thing. When my Mom had been out to have lobster without me she’d always let me to smell her fingers. I loved lobster so much, I needed to just smell her fingers and know that I’d have lobster again soon. It was like a treat.
When I was in summer camp, I remember waiting for the Happy Birthday phone call from my Mom. I remember when I was 18, my mom threw me a terrible surprise birthday party. Nobody that I wanted to come, came. There weren’t enough hot girls there, so I ended up leaving and going out that night and drinking somewhere else. My mom was stuck in the back yard partying with my 19 year-old friends that showed up. I was just typical 18 year-old. I thought I was too cool for the nerdy surprise birthday party in my back yard.
I think one year when we were older we went to Florida together and celebrated our birthday. I remember really connecting with her. So today, on my birthday, I really miss my Mom. For the first time in my existence, I missed my Mother wishing me a happy birthday.
My daughter wished me Happy Birthday. It was quick. She called me up, and said, “Happy birthday Dad, I don’t want to talk anymore.”
I appreciate all of the people who reached out and wished me a happy birthday. I wasn’t able to get back to all of you, as you can understand. I’d never leave my computer if I thanked everyone individually, but I’m thanking you right now.
Man, this hit me hard. I miss my Mom today and every day. I guess when you have a birthday; the person that brought you into you’re the world is the one person you share that special day with unlike anybody else.
Happy birthday Mom, if you can hear me. I know wherever you are right now, you’re watching over me and singing the birthday song you always sang for me. I love you still. Maybe I’m just a boy missing his Mom around his birthday.