30 DAYS OF FEELING – DAY 11
I have always believed that if I want to have a great relationship, if I want to find the love of my life, I should find someone who is born between the 3th and 13th of September. As a kid, I only new two couples, my grandparents, who loved me as much as they loved each other, and my parents, who kind of did the same thing but who’s love was something closer to hate than it was to kindness or warmth. With all my childish analytical skill I decided that the only difference between them were the days between their birthdays. They were both male and female, both married, they both had kids and they all lived in the same city, for me the only difference was in their birthdays. Seven months and twenty-eight days for my parents against just five days for my grandparents, a difference as big as the one I felt in their love for each other.
Luckily I did learn about character when I grew up, otherwise I would have never been with my boyfriend. But even when I stopped believe in my birthday-recipe-for-love, I have always felt like my grandparents had some special connection, with each other as well as with me, due to their overlapping birthday week. Celebrating their birthday together always felt like something magical to me.
When I was young, their birthday was the only day on which I was with them without my sister or parents while their house was filled with the rest of the family. All my great aunts and uncles would be there and I loved it. I spent the whole day with them, helping with handing out coffee and cake, listening to the stories of their childhood so many years ago and I even enjoyed helping my grandparents clean the house afterwards when everyone had left. I always stayed over for dinner, eating fries just to continue the feeing of this amazing day.
As I grew older, my grandparents’ brothers and sisters started to pass away. Every year there seemed to be less family, the house got more empty but they day kept his magic for me. My grandparent’s would keep buying as much cake as they had done all the years before and if there weren’t enough people to help us finish it, we would eat ourselves until we got nauseous. We kept this day as a special day for the three of us, and even the last years when there were just five guests left, we celebrated as if the house was as full as it used to be.
But then my grandpa passed away two years ago and the magic of their birthday turned into something close to a nightmare. Our special day vanished completely.
The thing is, when we were celebrating their birthday, we would always do it on the date of my grandpa’s birthday, king’s day, when everyone has a day off. But my grandmother’s birthday is on a normal day, a weekday till now, meaning there is no longer just one day to celebrate, people come on the day itself, a free day somewhere in the week, the weekend before or the weekend after. Everyone comes alone.
I clearly remember the emptiness I felt two years ago when I went to celebrate my grandma’s birthday and heard I was the only visitor for that day. It was painful enough to look at the empty chair that used to be my grandpa’s, but I had lost much more than that. I had lost my one day with them, the one day of feeling like I had a family that loves me. On this one day I had always been my grandparent’s child, I had the parents I deserved to have, but now all of this is gone.
Buying just one present this week creates and emptiness bigger than the empty chair I am about to face. Knowing that today only my grandma will hear my happy birthday or eating cake without seeing him enjoy his piece seem too much to handle. I even consider not going, because I know too well what pain I am about to feel, the pain of missing the home I once had with them…
But maybe it’s time to open up about these feelings to my grandma, maybe telling her how much I miss him and what they meant to me will connect us more than we already are. Maybe we can start shaping our own special day. I might have lost the parent I loved most but she is still there, for now, and I should cherish every moment we can still have together.