I’ve never made a big deal about my birthday and have always preferred to keep it simple. I don’t need expensive gifts and I don’t really like surprise parties….well, not for myself anyway.
So why am I talking about my birthday now? Well….I decided to post this because it’s that time of year again, and it made me think of a special b-day wish I got on my birthday in 2007.
That first year of special occasions and holidays after Dave died was really, really tough. I became super emotional when a special occasion came up and thought about how he was gone and couldn’t celebrate with me. He couldn’t wish me Merry Christmas, Happy Valentines Day, Happy Mothers Day or Happy Birthday.
After we lost Dave, there were a few of his personal items that were returned to me. His wallet, his broken watch (which is another story) and his phone. It took hours for friends, family and police to locate his phone at the accident scene. It was the one thing I really, really needed them to find. His phone held all of his contacts and he had spent a lot of time on it, so it was important that they find it for me. And I was very happy that they did! For a long time after that, I kept that phone with me. I guess having it close made me feel like he was close. So at first I kept his phone in my handbag, then starting keeping it in my car. I also canceled my phone number and his became mine…
This was the phone Dave used to call his family on their birthdays and other occasions. April is actually a heavy birthday month for us with quite a few to celebrate and Dave’s sister Cathy’s birthday is on April 16, the day before mine.
Dave was always joking around and for all the years we had been together….a total of 11…when my birthday was approaching he would say, “When’s your birthday again? It’s the 16th right?” I’d just look him with my “Shut up. You’re gonna get it” look. And he would start laughing, and ask, “It’s the 16th right?”…He did that every, single year.
On April 17, 2007, the first birthday without Dave, I really didn’t feel like celebrating. I had planed to do something small only because I wanted Sierra to enjoy, to be happy and celebrate her mom’s birthday.
And then something cool happened.
I remember the exact road on which I had been driving on this sad, emotional day, when I heard an alarm sound off in my car. It was coming from the center compartment. I opened it and found that the alarm was coming from Dave’s cellphone.
This was the first time since the accident that it had made any sound.
When I opened it, I was surprised at what showed on the screen:
It was April 17, my actual birthday. I started laughing….I started crying. It totally made my day! I got a special birthday wish from Dave. That birthday was supposed to be the worst ever, but it turned out okay and one that I think about every year and will always remember. And every year, the memory brings a smile and a few tears….