This is probably similar to subjects that I've blogged on before, but I'm too tired to go back and read through everything, and it's on my heart tonight. So, bear with me, if you will...
Today, December 2nd, would have been Brian's 34th birthday. Instead, he will forever be 26 years old, as the wrinkles around my eyes get deeper and my age continues to carry on.
He celebrated his birthday in heaven this year.
For the 8th time.
And, we, celebrated his life, down here on earth.
It was a pretty normal day as far as our routine goes around here. I got up with Natalie, and helped her off to school, the only difference was having to help her with her clothes and hair, since she broke her arm two days ago. Same went with Kate, she was off to school and Charli and I went to the YMCA.
Kate helped me to bake some chocolate cupcakes in honor of Natalie's Daddy Brian's birthday. She picked the recipe with a chocolate ganache frosting, nice choice kid. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't shoving one of those bad boys in my mouth right now as I type this.
But today, I wasn't really sad. Of course I knew it was his birthday and of course I thought about the fact that we always attended a Kansas City Chiefs football game, as a celebration for both of our birthdays. Which game would we have gone to this year? Would it have been their last game? Probably not, since it was in Denver, but who knows? If so, he would have loved that one....
Anyway, I was doing pretty well until we got to the cemetery. We always decorate for Christmas time on his birthday, but Natalie made a point to say we needed a Happy Birthday sign this year.
Kate insisted it be sparkly and glittery.
It was when I was trying to shove the wooden post into the hard, cold, ground and I nearly broke the darn thing in half, that I looked over at the packaging..... "cake topper" it said.
This decorative item was supposed to be on the top of a cake, not in the ground, in front of a grave stone.
I just about lost it.
But I didn't. I swallowed my tears and laughed at my girls who were giggling, and nibbling bites out of their cupcakes, even though I specifically said they couldn't eat them until we sang happy birthday.
I'll be damned if I didn't get that "cake topper" into the ground. Just where Natalie wanted it. And as I was sitting there, in the freezing cold, I was looking at the dates etched in stone.
Today is the day his life started. And September 28th, 2009, was when it tragically ended.
But that dash in between.... is so much more.
It's full of memories, and so many good days. So many specific moments in time, and laughs, and milestones. And of course some bad ones too.
But that's just it, that's life.
Your life is not defined by the two dates they put on your head stone.
It's all about the in between.
And that's what makes grief such a unique and personal situation. It's the days when you are thinking, I should be sad.... it's an important day. And the days that are your average, ordinary, run of the mill days, but a thousand memories flood in, and out of nowhere you are a sobbing mess and have to pull yourself together.
Grief is an individual as a fingerprint. No two people are the same. Nor should they be.
One of the best memories I have, was an impromptu day trip to Kansas City. I think it was during the late summer of 2009. We were driving back home and out of nowhere Brian grabbed my hand, and said "You know I love you? You are my everything."
I have no idea what day this event occurred on. But I remember it like it was yesterday. And I know one thing for sure.... it wasn't on December 2 or September 28th.
It was somewhere else.
Somewhere in between.