Tuesday was my birthday. It's a weird day without you here. I find myself wondering what we would have done, because we would have done something either on the very day or on the weekend before or after. You would have bought me a card and gotten daddy to sign it. We would have eaten at either Panera Bread or Olive Garden, the two places you like to eat but dad doesn't have a taste for. We would have gone to Belk or Hobby Lobby (or both) and walked around and looked. You probably would have bought me something while we were out, saying, "Do you like it? I'll get it for you for your birthday..."
That's what we would have done.
Instead, I played it out in my mind all day long while going about my activities. I had lunch with Scott, and then I decided to run by Lowe's and get some pansies for the pots on my front stoop. I bought the most unusual little flowering plant, its petals bright red. From a distance, it looks artificial because the leaves are such a deep green and the petals so bright. If you had been with me, you would have bought one, too, since it was unlike anything we had ever seen before. I picked out a few different colored pansies and headed home to get them in the pots. I always feel close to you when I have my hand in the soil, so it was especially nice to do this on my birthday.
The leaves are all turning their beautiful autumn colors, and my Camellia is full of buds. Oh, and the Christmas Cactus is loaded with buds as well. Last year it didn't flower much, so I was wondering what it would do this year. Around Easter, it produced one single flower. I thought that was pretty funny. It bloomed like crazy the spring you died; I remember busying myself by picking up the dead flowers off the ground while you lay in your bed fading, fading. Honestly, when I brought the cactus home, I was terrified I would kill the darn thing, but it's still going strong. I miss having you to ask questions about plants. That's one of the weird things you don't expect when you lose your mama, not having someone to call to ask all the odd questions. But it's part of the drill, so I make use of Google or put it on Facebook, and those two things usually give me enough information to go on.
I don't know what I would do without my sweet Sadie Girl. I don't think I've even told you about her... oh, how you would have loved her! She's got those big, sad, love-me eyes, and she comes and cuddles in my lap when she gets tired of playing. And she snores. And she gives Buddy a hard time! They romp and play and growl and tumble around in the grass. I think it will make Buddy more active, which is good for his health. That Sadie has brightened my life, I tell you. And I tell her all the time how much her Gammie would have loved her. Her puppy breath is pretty much gone, but she still generally smells like a puppy and definitely has a puppy personality. She's so full of life and curiosity, so vulnerable and innocent. She needs me, and what she doesn't realize is how much I need her, too. I didn't know I needed her until I had her. I sat outside telling Scott how much joy she had brought me, and I cried. I cried over a puppy. I cried because she brought me something I didn't know I was missing. I cried because she makes me feel so close to you even though you aren't here.
So, things are moving on, Mama. I have a new puppy and have made it through three birthdays without you. You are still gone, and I am still standing. Still standing. This grief thing has thrown me for a complete loop, and I had no idea that I would still be working my way through the maze. But I am. And I am still working. Still moving. Still your daughter, even though you aren't here.
I will always be your daughter. And I will always be proud to call you Mama. With each day that passes without you, I reminded that I am so fortunate to have a mama worth missing. Oh, you are so worth missing.
Love you forever with all I have.