Happy 45th Baby

I can hear it…the teasing I would have been doing, and the laughter from him about it!  He secretly would have enjoyed my little jabs here and there about how old he was.  Since he’s six and a half years older than me, I could get away with that, and it was always one of those “couple things” we shared.  It first started one night not long after we met when we were standing/leaning on the back of his 4runner after a late night of dancing and fun at a local bar, Coconuts.  I remember the shock I felt after he told me how old he was when I asked, simply because he certainly appeared young, but it was his vibrant nature and excitement about life that seemed so youthful.  I definitely would have pegged him for mid 20’s, when at the time he was actually 32.

For the past week or so, and more so yesterday and this morning, Eli and I have been carrying on this discussion about what we think today would have held, if his dad were here.  It’s been fun to hear how his mind works, and what he would want to be doing with his dad.  A few of his comments included:  that he would have loved to sing Happy Birthday to him, and wishes he could hear his dad laugh;  Eli has baseball practice on Wednesday nights, and he thought that his dad wouldn’t care if he had to watch him playing instead of having a party;  he thinks that I would have made him a cake, and he wishes he could be the one to decorate it;  he wonders if his dad would’ve liked to have a party;  he thinks “for sure he would have liked to be in the water” probably scuba diving, or maybe just swimming.  And so, in order for me to help Eli have a small connection to his dad on his dad’s big, special day, I saved a few cupcakes from Eli’s birthday and froze them, thawed them, and Eli gets to ice and decorate them when he gets home from school today.  He’s looking forward to it sooooo much!

Last night during dinner, Eli said he wishes his dad could come alive just for one day, each year on his birthday.  It tore me up inside.  But in an effort to not lose complete composure, I chuckled a little and said that it might make it hard because then it would be like he died again each year the day after his birthday.  But we both looked at each other and said at the same time, that it would be worth it.  Just about anything would be worth getting another day with him.

My world today is consumed with memories of Mike.  Each little ache and pain have been rolling out of my eyes and down my cheeks.  I miss him immensely.  I wonder if anyone knows just how much.  Probably not.  Seven and a half years tends to dull people’s memories and typically makes the sorrow dwindle.  But not always.  I can attest that yes, I’m getting by, I’m surviving on a daily basis.  And I’m proud of that.  I’ve certainly come a long way in those years.  But there are times that I can’t even fathom how much I miss him.  And I wonder why it overcomes me so intensely during those times.  When those moments come at me and knock me over like I was hit by a truck, it can take days or weeks to come out of that fog.  And I just will sit in bed and wish I could go back in time, to that happy place wrapped up in his arms.

People used to say, and sometimes still do, that Mike gave the best hugs.  I felt warmth and complete serenity when I was in the happiest place on earth, in his arms, snuggled up against his strong chest.  After he died I thought I’d never get to experience that feeling ever again.  But, I am beginning to see that I may have been wrong…Eli is becoming pretty damn amazing at giving hugs recently.  And just last night, he stopped eating his dinner, got up and came around the table to me, and just hugged me.  Out of nowhere.  I closed my eyes and for a split second I felt transported back in time and I lost myself in one of Mike’s amazing hugs.

Wherever he is, I hope he has some time to stop by for our birthday celebration for him this evening.  Happy 45th Birthday to My Love!

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