My birthday was last week, and over dinner a friend asked, “How was your first birthday without your mother?” So unexpected was the question; tears immediately filled my eyes. It was in that moment that I realized the source of my melancholy throughout the day. Could I celebrate a birthday if the woman who gave birth to me was no longer here, walking this earth? Was it a birthday at all? Did it still hold meaning? My wise mind knew that of course my birthday was about me, not the woman who brought me into this world, and of course it could be celebrated. But there was an undeniable tug at my heart that my birth day was what connected my mother and me. It was our beginning, our tie, our shared experience, just she and I. The years brought ups and downs between us, missed opportunities at closeness. But my birth day was a powerful bond, and without her, the day just didn’t feel the same. I felt a bit lost.
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