His Birthday Without Him

For 18 years we were there to celebrated each other's birthdays. He would've turned 51 today.

We started a family tradition on birthdays. Everyone would wake up before the birthday person, sneak into their room and sing "happy birthday". It was supposed to be soft and harmonious but he always sang loud and off key just to annoy me. 

It was hard to surprise him though. He always woke up before the rest of us. 

So, on his birthday, he would wake me up singing "happy birthday to me" in a terrible Marilyn Monroe's style. 

I would drag myself out of bed and wake up the girls, while he pretended to be asleep so that they could 'surprise' him. 

It was always a pain to buy him a present. It didn't matter how hard I tried, he never wanted anything.

"What I want cannot be wrapped. And I already have what I want" he used to say referring to me and the girls. He always said we were his present.

But he would get a present in the end, Just not for himself. On his birthday he got us presents. He took us to Princess on Ice, to the movies, to Cirque duSoleil. He took us out for dinner and girls could choose whatever they wanted. A dish each and not have to share a meal. Even if they didn't eat it all.

And late at night when slipped into bed he would hold me and kiss me say he was grateful to God for his presents.

Birthdays were also hard. He fought the childhood memories of painful birthdays, stained with neglect, alcohol and violence that left him scared and scarred.

I look at the photo of the first of his birthdays we celebrated as a couple. And now I am left with memories. Beautiful memories, fun memories, sad memories of 18 birthdays together. 

But as his favourite t-shirt says, he was God's property, not mine. He is not here to sing 'happy birthday to me', to pretend to be asleep so that his daughters can surprise him, to give us a present for being his present. He is now face to face with God. The God he loved and served and lived for. 

And for the first time in this journey I am mad at God. For the first time I am angry. Because it's not fair, because it's so painful, because it's all so ugly and so messy and because I feel like I am loosing my mind and everything about death and grief is so fucked up.

I don't want to do this! 

I don't want to go through life without my husband. I don't want to praise God, or be strong or rejoice because Jason is in a better place. 

I want him back. I want my husband back. 

I want the present that cannot be wrapped. 

I want what I cannot have.

Tatiana HotereComment