Alarm goes off.
I open my eyes.
It’s my birthday.
Truth: I dread my birthday.
I don’t dread my birthday for reasons that you might think. I have nothing against growing older, and it’s definitely not because I don’t like cake.
I was my mom’s birthday present, she used to say. We would share family birthday celebrations when I was young. I remember many times posing for pictures together in front of a single birthday cake. There were times when we shared our free chocolate cake at Bill Knapp’s. (Dude, for real though, did anyone else used to get really sick from those cakes? There was probably a reason they gave them away for free. I have deep suspicions it was all a big joke on us cheapskates who try to get free stuff.)
When I think of my birthday, I automatically think of my mom. So, my birthday is just not the same since she died. Each one is a reminder that she is not there. That she will never be there again. We will never stand side by side and get our picture taken in front of a cake decorated with with flowers. I will no longer have her sing Happy Birthday to me in her peppy out-of-tune way.
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