Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Birthdays and Stuff

Friday is Todd's birthday. Luke's is Sunday. We thought Luke would be a birthday gift the year he was born, and he was, kind of--but I guess he decided he wanted his own day to celebrate, so he just sort of hung out for a couple of extra days. Todd never forgot my birthday (or our anniversary, or the kids' birthdays, or his family's birthdays, etc.), but I did forget his one year...I can still remember grading exams when I got a call from a dear friend wanting to wish Todd a "happy birthday." I panicked--my mind raced as I tried to grasp exactly what he was saying on the other end of the phone and I tried to remember what the day's date was. I had prepared NOTHING! Our friend helped me pull together dinner by providing potatoes and some kind of meat he had grilled or smoked that day, and I quickly made a cake so that when Todd arrived home from work he was unaware I had totally forgotten...until I narked on myself...I've never been one to be able to hide stuff like that--I always feel a need to confess. We laughed about it, and I never forgot again...although last year I did accidentally schedule a girl's trip at the same time as his and Luke's birthdays...I was mortified when I realized what I had done, but Todd just laughed about it and told me to ahead and go on the trip as scheduled. I went on the trip, but I met up with the family in Bowling Green (Corvette Museum) on Luke's actual birthday. Todd was so good natured about things like that...he rarely cared if he was "neglected." He taught me a lot about not taking things personally and rolling with the flow of things (although I have not achieved his level of success in this area).

I have begun to recall even more good things. I finally remember the affectionate names he called me. I remember the smell and feel of his neck when I would bury my face in it , and I remember the softness of his cheek right after he shaved. I remember the look on his face and expression in his eyes when he shared something he was excited about. I also remember how I could shut him down with a word or two that expressed my lack of enthusiasm...that memory I could do without. I guess it's a packaged deal, though, huh?


  1. happy birthday to luke. how old will he be? are you guys going to do anything on todd's b-day? in some ways it seems like a great way to celebrate him. here's what i will do in honor of todd on his birthday: i pledge to do something generous and kind for someone who doesn't expect it. in memory of todd.

  2. Nikki,

    That is the sweetest idea ever! I'm in too!

  3. Thanks Nikki and Mel. That makes my heart glad. Todd's (twin) sisters' birthday is also Friday, and it is just too early for us to be able to truly celebrate...so April 23rd will be difficult this year for all kinds of reasons. All the adults have chosen to let our birthdays just go by without any notice this year. Mine was less than a month after everything happened, and I just couldn't stand to even deal with it...so I didn't--and I think everyone else feels the same way--birthdays just highlight his absence in an extremely painful way. We will have several family celebrations for Luke and then a swim party this summer with some of his friends. Thanks again for honoring Todd in this way--I love that.

  4. i forgot that todd had a twin sister. i can see your point about acknowledging birthdays, todd's and others. you guys do what you need to -- we've got your back.

  5. I think your idea was so great that "I'm in too." I find that I do want to honor his memory today by doing something kind, generous and unexpected. Do you remember his sisters as flower girls at our wedding? They would have been about 8 years old. He adored them as little sisters and really enjoyed spending time with them as adults (they had common interests and did a lot of things together), and although I do not know how it all works in the spiritual realm, I am sure he is still looking after them/with them in some new and special way.

  6. unfortunately, no -- i don't remember them from the wedding. you were my first friend to get married and i was so emotional during the whole ceremony that i hardly remember anything, except you had daisies which i thought were great. and very you.

    plus, my brain just doesn't function clearly these days. too much in it. my kids think it's a minor miracle that i remember to pick them up from their assorted after school activities.

    btw, this concept is harder than it sounds. yesterday was friday in my hemisphere and i spent most of the day holed up in my office grading papers. it's hard to do something generous if you aren't actually engaging with people. i guess that's lesson number one if you're gonna Todd someone. got get out there and be with people.