Today, November 3rd, is my 31st birthday. I’ve been sitting here thinking about why I’m so sad. Maybe it because I’m getting old … maybe not. I’m not that old, right? Well, I’m pretty sure that’s not it. I have a difficult time celebrating my birthday. Growing up, my birthday was never very special. My birth was kind of a “big mistake” in my family, but there is a funny story about the day I was born. My mom woke up to find parts of me were already being born. Well, needless to say, she freaked out. At the time, she lived with my grandparents. As the story goes, grandpa was so nervous he put his pants on backwards and couldn’t get out of the house fast enough. He rushed to get the car and my mom and grandma inside only to find that he didn’t have enough gas to get to the hospital. Now, this was before gas stations were open all night. Luckily, they found a police officer who was able to get access to a gas station and get them enough gas to get to the hospital. We even got a police escort, lights and all! By the time they arrived at the hospital, I literally just fell out in the doctor’s hands. I guess I was pretty tiny.
Well, it also turned out that this day was my grandpa’s birthday. My mom decided to let him name me, and so I was named “Sheri”. And so now I realize what has made me sad. My birth might have been a mistake, and my birthday was never made a big deal of, but I always shared that day with someone very dear to me. One year, my grandma decided to have a surprise party for us. She told my grandpa the party was for me and told me the party was for grandpa. Well, I figured it out of course, but it was still very special.
Grandpa died five years ago on October 22nd. I went to visit the cemetery and could hear him saying, “you know I’m not here”. That’s so very grandpa. I had intended to take him flowers, but he told me to give them to grandma instead. She hugged me and cried. He had chosen daisies for her, and she loved them. I was happy that I could bring a little of him to her on that day, but I can’t seem to bring enough of him to myself. I didn’t have a father, so grandpa was it. He made sure I knew I was special no matter what anyone else said. I was always “grandpa’s girl”. Even as I write this, I’m fighting back my tears. Yes, I talk to the dead. Yes, I know he’s with me … even as I write this I feel his presence. It’s not just that I miss the man who was very much my dad. I miss our birthday, and I can never have it back to the way it should be.
And so, if nothing else, at least I can say, “Happy Birthday, Grandpa! I love you forever and always.”
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