Sunday Post 92: The Birthday Blues

It crept up on me again.  I wasn’t expecting it.  I thought I was just overwhelmed – too much to do, too many details.  Both true; neither my problem.

Turning 47 wasn’t supposed to be a big deal.  We never much celebrated birthdays.  Maybe an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins – perhaps on the exact day, maybe earlier, maybe later.  It didn’t much matter to us.

Some guys rearrange their work or travel schedule to be home for the anniversary of their wife’s birth.  Not me.  Mine didn’t require it.

Lisa did throw me a party on my 40th.  She catered bar-b-q and hired a man to play his guitar in our backyard.  My father-in-law passed out beer on our front porch as our guests arrived.  My parents manned the kitchen.  Lisa and I worked the crowd – friends from all the corners of our lives.

So why the weepiness for me?  I heard the same song last week with no affect.  This week is different.

Maybe I was sad because Lisa never got her guitar player in the backyard.  She didn’t quite make it to 40.

Maybe it’s because I’m the only one still celebrating birthdays.  Maybe it drags up the anger and the frustration that the world just isn’t fair.  Why couldn’t we add her years to mine and divided by 2? 40 years for her, 80 for me – 60 for each of us.  That seems more fair.

No.  She didn’t get to celebrate 47.  She also didn’t get to pick out an outfit for the middle school dance with Stephanie tonight or quiz Michelle on her continents and oceans.  She didn’t get to read, with pride, DJ’s paper on the Iliad.  She didn’t even get to go on the Target run to buy the gargantuan package of toilet paper, giggling all the way through the store.

All of that is in a knot deep, deep within me – the anger, the frustration, the regret, the sadness.  Occasionally some of it comes out.  But not all.  There are parts of the wound that are so deep, they’ll never see the light of day.

Most of the time it won’t matter.  Mostly, it won’t be visible to the naked eye.  But a few will see, and me – able to compare now with then.

My day is over.  The cake is gone, and the knot tucked neatly beneath my spleen.  It’ll come back out; I just don’t know when.

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  1. Beautiful post – I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s very brave of you to open yourself up in this way – I’m sure your readers appreciate your thoughts and insight.

  2. Susan Disher

     /  October 7, 2012

    sometimes I think that God knows when I need to step into that darkness…when I need to know the little courage that is there…He allows a little piece to slowly come into focus and sucker punch me…out of the blue…with no warning…but I have slowly come to see that He never gives me more than I can take…and I am better at the recovery…it takes me a little less time to get my breath and remember the good and the love…and deal with whatever emotions have erupted…feeling like a dragon slayer wielding a sword…and each time it is slightly…only a hair’s breath…but still better than the last…praying for you my friend

    • Danny Tanner

       /  October 7, 2012

      That is a perfect description of how I feel. A hair easier each time. Painful – perhaps always will be. Jumps on my quickly and out of nowhere. But – I can deal with it. And that is good.

  3. GodCountryGolf

     /  October 7, 2012

    Some people say “time heals all wounds.” I’m not so sure. I think we learn to live with them. Often the waves of grief come when we least expect them. Hearing a song on the radio. Seeing a family (with a mom and a dad) all together at church. Living through yet another birthday or anniversary without them. So, we let ourselves get knocked down by the wave and feel the pain. But, hopefully, we surface stronger when that wave recedes back where it belongs. You are amazing. Hang in there.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  October 7, 2012

      I’m better – usually post after the hit is over. But you are right – it is easier and I am stronger.

  4. katiereadtherapy

     /  October 9, 2012

    So glad I found this blog. Thank you for your deep honesty. You choked me up a bit tonight, as someone I know is struggling with possible loss of a parent. Thanks for writing.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  October 9, 2012

      Its a horrible thing to lose someone you love – the only worse thing is not having someone to love.


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