Monday, August 20, 2012


It was my birthday on the 11th.

All in all, I decided that the whole day was about celebrating life. Even if celebrating it in very different ways.  Yes, my birthday was on Saturday, but that was also the day of friend and co-worker Tia's husband Tyler's funeral. 

I knew this was coming, so I prepared myself as best as I could. I woke up in the morning in good spirits. Off the Cuff had sang their birthday song to me the night before (that was my first time with that!) and a few friends and family wished it to me around midnight. As OTC was ending, our friends Andrew and Nina came to find everyone. It was their date night, and so they wanted to stay out as late as they could. We were just "shooting the poop" as Husband likes to call it. They invited us to go and eat, but we decided that since Denny's is the only place in Cedar open past 10 we didn't feel like ralphing the next day. Instead, we went to A&N's house. We talked and talked. I wish I could explain the kind of person Andrew is. And the person his wife is for knowing how to be married to Andrew. The following are stories that Andrew told us from about 1-4 am on my birthday:

  • He willingly drank IPECAC to find out what happens.
  • He and Sean sprayed each other in the face with mace.
  • He got hit by a car going ~ 30 mph
  • He wakes up his child and wife because he scream-vomits. More than average.

There were many-a-more. But those are most memorable. 

I like Andrew's stories.

The next morning, I woke up before Chase. I told him I wanted pancakes and he was so on it. I mean, on it. He made them from scratch! We used the apricot butter and jams I made and I had a delicious birthday breakfast.

Then Lacey came to pick me up.

I was dressed in my most modest but respectable clothes. We drove to the funeral together.  I haven't ever been to one of those kind of funerals. The kind that are devastating. The kind of a not-yet-middle-aged man; a wife and 3 children trying to welcome friends and family to the event.  The saddest kind.

We arrived, and waited in line to see Tia. My assumption (and hope) was that she had cried all of her tears. That maybe being surrounded by familiarity would give her the smallest bit of warmth in her chest, if even for an hour.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  She was sobbing. So hard. Seeing her friends and family just made her more passionate. To me, she was overwhelmed. With sadness. With love. With support. What a confusing, enveloping, and crippling emotion that must be.  I wanted to help so badly. Still want. But there is nothing, less taking food over and asking how she is.

It was a catholic mass. I was so lost and so interested at the same time. I was as respectful as I knew how to be, and the only thing time I connected was when the entire room lit up with sounds of "How Great Thou Art."  It is my favorite worship song, and I am so glad they sang it at a funeral. It was absolutely beautiful and appropriate. I hope she felt my sadness and love for her as I sang. It was with my whole being. I wanted to radiate the energy directly at their family, for that is my worst fear. I wouldn't be me without my husband, and I wish I could heal the forever void she will now feel.

I know, one day she will feel okay. She will be forever changed, but she will be okay. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met. I admire every stitch of her. I just think of her and hope.

Of course, I didn't mention my birthday. Lacey and Chelsea and maybe Bethany knew.  It was such a strange feeling to have.

I didn't say goodbye to Tia. She was surrounded by love, and I didn't want to bother her. I just went home and told my husband how much he is me. And that I love him. I wish I had a different word than love. He is my best friend. I'm always thinking of him. He should know that.

Speaking of best friends.

I was sad that nothing was really happening after I got home. I wanted to do something! By this time, it was 4pm, and the day was coming to an end.  I whined that I wanted a pretzel. I wanted a soft pretzel and I wanted to go to the store. I grabbed my purse as Chase tried to stall me. "Let's go!" I said. Just as we walked out the door my Grandpa Bob and Grandma Nancy pulled up.  Oh good! I thought. They are here to see me on my birthday!

Next came my mom.

Uh-oh? I thought. Two visitors at once?  I guess I will be a good hostess!

TJ and Wendy? When did you get here? With chipsanddips! And presents.

Turns out, Chase was a sneaky party planner. He had soft pretzels in the freezer, a watermelon, and sody-pops. My mom had made me a pear pie with gruyere cheese crust (I demanded it after I saw it on Pushing Daisies), and an oh-so-famous apple pie.

I was happy then.

We bs'ed and then did gifts. Everyone was so thoughtful! Weejay gave me a veganarian cookbook with REAL recipes and REAL food in them. I loved it so much. (and some cute nail polishes too!) Mom brought me those pies and some money in a card. The cards were very sweet this year. I felt like everyone chose them so that they would fit me well. I should take photos of them. They really were lovely.  G&G gave me money too! I've since spent it on some cute wedges. I believe in spending birthday money on wants and not needs. Life is better that way.

Then came husband.

He wrapped me a big box. It was heavier than I thought! I opened the first box to find another wrapped box. Oh I see, a trickster. I'll see what's inside this one...

Another box!

This one definitely has something in it.

And that something is what I am typing on now.

I am so spoiled. Spoiled and loved and spoiled.

All in all, I love my family and friends. I had such a good time. Sore cheeks and good food and good stories. That's what life is, right?

What a day of life. One celebration of life in two different ways.

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