You would have been 64 today. I remember a time when I thought 64 was "old"--now it represents a life cut short unfairly by an illness that has targeted too many of our friends and family. As I write these words, your daughter-in-law's brother is barely clinging to life, the tumour in his head robbing him of him of himself, his sister of a brother, his parents of a son, his nieces of an uncle.
I miss you. I knew I would and I'm not even surprised by the intensity, but living it is harder than I thought it would be. I still listen to that voice message you left for me--I feel so lucky to have that connection, to be able to hear your distinctive voice so strong and happy. I was worried I would forget--forget your face, your hugs, your laugh--but I can remember you so clearly it's like I just saw you yesterday. But you've been gone 10 months now, and in some ways you've been gone even longer than that.
Happy Birthday, Mom. Today I celebrate your memory and your legacy. I celebrate your strength of character and strength of spirit. I celebrate all that I have learned from you and all that you still have to teach me.
Today, I celebrate you.