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my birthday


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I guess I am jumping ahead a few hours, but it looks like I will make it to my birthday tomorrow. It hurts, of course, being the first one since Becky died. It also marks that I will be older than Becky when I die. As if I deserve more years than she, when it is so truly the opposite. As if deserves has any meaning in that sentence.

I find myself pondering the lyrics to a Harry Chapin song; as usual, his words are the soundtrack to my life. Though I am only 32 tomorrow, that doesn't rhyme, so I will leave it at 34. The whole song is spectacular, but must be read about nineteen times to be scratched. Here is the bit that got me thinking about the song:+

Well just today I had my birthday -- I made it thirty-four

Mere mortal, not immortal, not star-crossed anymore

I've got this problem with my aging I no longer can ignore

A tame and toothless tabby can't produce a lion's roar

But as I listened to it, over and over today, here is the part that I focus on more and more:

Yes I read it in the New York Times

That was on the stands today

It said that dreams were out of fashion

We'll hear no more empty promises

There'll be no more wasted passions

To clutter up our play

It really was a good sign

The words went on to say

It shows that we are growing up

In oh so many healthy ways

And I told myself this is

Exactly where I'm at

But I don't much like thinking about that

Harry -- are you really so naive

You can honestly believe

That the country's getting better

When all you do is let her alone

Harry -- Can you really be surprised

when it's there before your eyes

when you hold the knife that carves her

you live the life that starves her to the bone

Good dreams don't come cheap

You've got to pay for them

If you just dream when you're asleep

There is no way for them

to come alive

to survive

It's not enough to listen -- it's not enough to see

When the hurricane is coming on it's not enough to flee

It's not enough to be in love -- we hide behind that word

It's not enough to be alive when your future's been deferred

This is telling me to get off my *ss in no uncertain terms. But I feel like such a tame and toothless tabby. Incapable of a good roar. Incapable of being so moved that I can be heard about the things important to me. Incapable of making a difference. That is how I feel right now. But at least the remedy for Harry is in the song, too:

Well I got up this morning -- I don't need to know no more

It evaporated nightmares that had boiled the night before

With every new day's dawning my kid climbs in my bed

And tells the cynics of the board room your language is dead

And as I wander with my music through the jungles of despair

My kid will learn guitar and find his street corner somewhere

There he'll make the silence listen to the dream behind the voice

And show his minstrel Hamlet daddy that there only was one choice

Of course, the gender is wrong there, but is it enough to foster Katie's roar? Does it excuse me being a tame tabby? I wish I felt it did more. I wish I didn't feel like I am squandering this life. Making as much of it as I should. Making as much of it as Becky would. I don't need Becky back; I want her back, but we are getting along okay as much as it hurts. What I want more than anything is assurance that she is proud, that she approves.

Maybe I just need to give up on being a lion and accept the role of the toothless tabby. Especially if it means I can nap.


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If you're toothless, you're surely just between your kitty teeth and your big cat chompers.

It is good to see that you and Katie are getting by. I'm sure that feeling of loss will never completely ease, that feeling of being gypped, of losing someone so valuable to you before you were "finished" with her. I can relate to the thought of too soon, far too soon...

I'm going to wish you a happy birthday, time in your day where you actually catch yourself grinning and being able to breathe without the band around your chest choking off your breath. I hope you have some of that bittersweet Becky time, as well. It's far too soon to even consider going a full day without remembering and the melancholy.

Here's to you, Curtis, and carrying on, even when you don't have your heart in it. Don't worry about "wasting" your life. Even if you are just spinning your wheels for a while, you ARE nurturing a broken heart and a broken daughter, too. Don't undervalue what you are doing. I'm sure Becky would be concentrating on Katie's well-being were the tables turned. You are doing FINE, and I'm sure Becky is proud of you. Keep going, Curtis. You are here to do the important work of touching and holding - keep cuddling your little angel.



PS Why try to rhyme the two to ignore when you can employ "MATH" in the lyrics?? :roll:

Well just today I had my birthday -- two years shy of thirty-four

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Ashleigh and I want to wish you a very happy birthday. I know that tomorrow will be a very bittersweet day for you, but I do hope that you can find a bit of time for yourself. To remember the good times with Becky and Katie on this special day. Maybe have you and Katie release a balloon so that Becky can celebrate with you. Maybe you can try to go one more step and do something special for yourself. You need to take care of yourself and pamper yourself a bit. It will make you stronger ...

Tomorrow happens to be a special day in our house too. Princess Ashleigh turns *4* .....

So from the NJ Princess to the Prince - Happy Birthday.

Paula (and Ashleigh)

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You can answer the question yourself as to whether or not Becky is looking down and proud of you. I can tell you as a mother that if you are loving your daughter like I think you are, she is thrilled with you and forever grateful. Becky would want you to continue to remember her but to continue to live and love Katie.

I tell myself all these things when I think about me and my son. I tell myself this countless times a day. It's ridiculous that we have to go through this, losing spouses who were truly wonderful people and great parents. As my friend Julie says, it's my journey, I have to live it.

Good luck tomorrow and Happy birthday.

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"Birthday", wont impse on you by saying happy but keep up the spirits for the little one.

I do wish for you a happy birthday. Give me a shout sometime.


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I guess what we have to do is to do what our loved one would want and that is to be happy. My Brothers and my birthday were 2 days apart and he passed just 8 days short of his so it was all so new to me. I can remember back when we were children there was Alan's on the 19th mine on the 21st and my other Brother Charlies on the 25th and we always had a cookout and each of us had our own birthday cakes and friends over to enjoy it. oooooooo the good ole days. I know my Brother would have wanted me to be happy on my Birthday but I just couldnt be until I sponsered this site. That made my Birthday and his :D:D:D it made my heart sing.

Do something special that will make you feel good inside. Letting a balloon go for Becky was a wonderful idea. Try not to sit gloomy as Becky would have hated to see you that way. Do something for yourself that you know would have made her smile :D

Go on now and have a Happy Birthday Curtis :D

God Bless You and Katie,


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I feel bad that I let your birthday slip my mind. It seems that my cancer just seems at times to occupy my whole thoughts. Just another thing about all this I don't like. Anyway, I hope you were able to enjoy the day without too much sadness and thoughts of your loss.



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I did have a nice and quiet birthday; thank you for asking. I went and worked at school all day and had lunch with the guys; usually I lunch solo because books tend to be more interesting than people for me. And then Katie and I went over to my parents where Katie had decorated a cake for em the night before. So I got the loudest birthday cake of my life with sprinkles on top of sprinkles. My parents got this one right, not much fanfare and no presents, just dinner and cake.

I also spent some time at Trinity, where Becky and I went to college and eventually got married. I had another check for the scholarship to deliver, and so I took some time to go by the chapel and over to the math department.

So it was a nice and peaceful day. Katie was excited, and her excitement is nothing if not infectious.


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Guest bean_si (Not Active)

I can visualize Katie all excited about her dad's birthday. I'm glad her excitement was infectious.


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I just saw this so please forgive me for missing your birthday. I'm glad you spent it the way you did. I guess I just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and to know how much I appreciate your heartfelt and wise posts here. You teach us all a lot about being human and real and loving.


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