At any rate, today would have been my beloved grandmother’s 103rd birthday. This is my second birthday without her, and I’m feeling the loss more than ever. I miss sharing our two-day celebration. It’s just not the same. I keep looking at the phone, feeling like I should be dialing her number and hearing her sweet voice. With me in Georgia and her in North Carolina, our almost-shared birthdays often passed with us together in spirit rather than in person. But it was still special to know our days were right next to each other.
I feel lonesome having my birthday all to myself now. It’s just not the same without Grandmom, even though we often spent our birthdays apart. I guess it was enough knowing she was here on this earth with me still, thinking about me as I was thinking about her. Knowing I could call and wish her a happy birthday meant more to me than I realized.
I know she’s somewhere better now, out of the tremendous pain that comes with a failing century-old body. She’s removed from the awful loneliness that comes when a person has outlived her husband and all her friends and siblings. I’m not sorry for her at all, because I have hope that she’s surrounded by those who loved her best once more. I’m sorry for me because there’s a big hole in my life where she was for 45 years. I’m selfish that way ... I still want my grandmom who loved me unconditionally. I want my birthday buddy, because it feels so wrong to celebrate another year without her.
Yet I will, because it’s what she would have wanted. If I could hear her, she would remind me of my beautiful son and how much he adds to my life. She would tell me that I deserve to be happy. She would chastise me in her gentle way (which never felt like chastisement) that she was just one ‘poor little country girl’, not worth getting so emotional over. Of course, I would beg to differ on that account. My grandmom was an amazing woman, and the world is much less bright without her beautiful presence in it.
And so I say, happy birthday, Grandmom. I’m still sharing it with you in my heart.