Seven. teen. freaking. years.

March 18, 2009 :: 9:35 AM

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mom :: may 3, 1946 - march 18, 1992

I’m going to go a little more raw here than usual.  It’s a special occasion… not a happy one, but a milestone nonetheless.  If you’re prone to crying, grab the kleenex. I’ll wait.

March 18th, 1992.  Seventeen years ago.

Two days before my 17th birthday, I came home from school to find my father crying at the kitchen table. With four little words, I suddenly learned my life would never be the same. Could never be the same. 

They held the wake on my birthday.  I did not go.

My mother and I had, at best, a complicated relationship.  That’s probably putting it too politely, but you guys don’t want the truth.  Trust me.

Seventeen years ago, I was two days shy of my 17th birthday.  Today, I am two days shy of my 34th.  I don’t need a calculator to tell me the significance of the timing. I’ve been dreading this birthday since 2001 - when my father passed away.  It’s a hell of a milestone to pass. There’s been a lot of life packed into the last seventeen years. 

A life where her only daughter, her only child, attended her alma mater and lived briefly in the same dorm, on the same floor, that she did.  A life that would have cast her as mother of the bride and the proud grandmother of two furbabies. A life where her sewing expertise would have come in handy several times.  A life where her fashion sense probably would have been very welcome. She wasn’t there for any of that.  She wasn’t even there to see me graduate from high school (and now college) with high honors, something that would have mattered to her, something she pushed me to attain.

She chose vodka over her only daughter.  Even when she was alive, she was dead to me. It’s terrible, I know.

You have no idea how badly I wish it had been different. 

I wish I knew the woman my father married.  The one he spent hours talking about during what would be our last day together.  I want to know that woman.  I will never be able to. My heart aches for the loss of this woman I never knew. It is that woman I mourn on the 18th of March… not the one I grew up with.

I try to not let it get to me.  Matter of fact, the last several birthdays have been fantastic.  I’ve been pushing hard for this one to be as well and I think I’m going to succeed. I had fun last week at the GTD Summit, which was an early birthday present to myself, and I’ll have fun in CT on Thursday and Saturday.  I’m expecting some awesome presents from people who have flat out told me they’re getting me something, despite my telling them that’s not necessary. The bar is set really high for this birthday, and so far, all signs point to the fact that it will be amazing.  (Well, it will be abso-fucking-lutely AWESOME if BU beats BC on Friday night, but that’s neither here nor there…)

At the end of the day, it all comes back to the fact that I’m here and she’s not… and that sucks.

 

I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you, that I almost believe that they’re real. 
I’ve been living so long with my pictures of you, that I almost believe that the pictures are all I can feel.

- The Cure, “Pictures of You”