I have been working on this post all week knowing it was coming, but I’ve also been busy with lots of other things, and for a couple of days this week I actually lost track of what day it was. But then this morning (Wednesday) I woke up and realized today was the day…I knew it suddenly, without thinking, that today was his day. I just knew it with that old familiar pang. My heart is aching. I spoke with both his daughters, and we chatted about what we would have done today with him were he still here…we reminisced about the man he was and talked about how hard this day is for us without him. Mike was such a fun-loving guy - really he maintained such a childlike thrill for life, and never lost the excitement for birthdays…except that I know he really did not like being old.
Sometime in the months previous to his death, I think it must have been around his birthday, I remember talking to him as he stood in the kitchen…we were bickering about his health and weight, as we did so frequently, sadly, and I said something like, please try and stay healthy honey, I want you around for at least another 20 years; don’t you want to live to see your grandson graduate from high school?
Who knew he would be gone only a few months later. He didn’t even make it to his 60s. He would have been 62 today…and though that number sounds still so young to me now, I think the child in him was horrified at the idea of being old - or maybe more rightly, he was frustrated that his body wasn’t working the way it used to. I know he was tired at the end there, though I didn’t realize it until he was gone.
I was reading a novel this week and the main character, who had been through a tragedy, was sitting at a cafe people watching and thinking, look at those people strolling aimlessly down the street sipping on their lattes, as if their lives were always going to be normal…
That line will stick with me. I often think similarly, seeing people who seem to have no cares, while I sit here hurting, trying to find a way to work through the grief and the hard days. My life will never be the same again…it will never be normal again, without him - even though if I think about it, life with Mike wasn’t normal at all…it was an amazing adventure. I’ve shared this thought with people who knew him…life with Mike was like being at an amusement park. When he died, it was as if the park had closed and we all had to go home.
So today, I will set down some birthday wishes for my dear beloved husband.
Today is your birthday.
I wish you were here.
I wish I could watch your face, so filled with happiness and pride, as you talked to your daughters and grandson.
I wish I could have gone to the beach with you, as you loved to do on your birthday and any day; I wish I could see you playing joyfully in the waves like a little kid one more time.
I wish we could see a movie again together, as you so loved to do on your birthday and any day; sit in the theater and hold hands, and whisper excitedly together at the previews.
I wish we could enjoy a special meal together again, as you loved to do on your birthday and any day. Maybe our favorite chirashi bowl from the sushi place, or a burrito from the Mexican place. I wish I could see your happy anticipation of an evening out at a restaurant with your favorite foods.
I wish we could come home and spend another quiet evening together on the lanai, as you loved to do on your birthday and any day, drinking wine and dancing to our favorite songs. I wish I could hear you laugh at the songs I chose, those newer ones with the harder edge or the thumping beat; I wish I could hear you sing along to the songs you chose, the older ones with the nostalgic twist.
I wish I could hear you sing to your ukulele one more time, those beautiful Hawaiian songs you learned so well during the years you lived here.
I wish we could watch a favorite television show again together, as you loved to do on your birthday and any day. Those shows you loved to nerd out on, with the superheroes and action and special effects.
I wish I could kiss you goodnight. I wish I could wish you a happy birthday, and say and many more, and have that mean something.
But you are not here. So,
I wish you are happy where you are. I wish you can see me, and can look over me and wish good things for me, until we are together again.
But mostly I just wish you were here.