Why celebrate the birthday of someone who is no longer physically with us?
I woke up yesterday feeling anything but celebratory. I would have preferred to have stayed in bed alone all day long. I was emotional and wanted the time & space to honour that.
But with 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats, my life isn't just about me. I got out of bed to 2 excited kids who wanted to show me what they had made. C had crafted this "Happy Birthday Danma" banner and N was so proud she had taped it up on the window by herself, together with some fairy lights. They were only 5 and 7 when their Grandma "Danma" died, but the memories of her are fresh in their hearts and they are doing everything they can to keep those memories alive. It is not so much a conscious effort for them as it is just a natural part of our new normal.
Yesterday was the second time we celebrated my Mom's birthday since she died last year.
We weren't celebrating that she turned a year older. She didn't.
We weren't wishing her happiness and health for the years to come. She will never have that.
We were celebrating her birth day, expressing gratitude for the life and love she gifted us, and honouring everything she was while she was with us on the earth plane.
After spending the day at a floorball tournament for C and a year end party at the school, where I had some great convos with other parents/friends about life, death and emotions, we came home to celebrate. N wanted to make a cake, and both kids wanted Vondue (plant-based fondue), a tradition we had started with my Mom when she used to visit us around her birthday. We set a place for her at the table, a tradition my husband started last year.
We talked about our favorite memories, and then the dining light started turning off and on. A lot. It has done that before when I am working at the table alone at night, but it has never done that at dinner. With the whole family there. And so often. Even Christoph said it is pretty weird. We joked that it was my Mom. But was it a joke? N concluded that Danma must be playing a game with us. When she turns the light off, we have to turn it on as quickly as possible. It was bittersweet. The kids insisted on lighting birthday candles and singing happy birthday. She would have been 67. 67 years of touching people's hearts, of making a difference in their lives, of inspiring love and gratitude.
Thank you Mom for everything you were when you were here, and for all of the beautiful moments you still inspire now that you are on the other side. We love you so, so much!
Michelle Borner, a mom on 23 missions, blogs about her Deep Thoughts on a wide range of topics from parenting to conscious living to lessons from brain cancer.
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