Today wraps up the last of the “hard days” of 2018.  Today would have been my mom’s 68th birthday if she had lived past the age of 59.  Every year for my mom’s birthday, I would make her a chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  I have baked for her ever since I can remember (yes there is picture proof of a young me covered in chocolate batter on this special day in December many years ago.)  Just before Mom died, I had actually been starting to plan her 60th birthday. I wanted it to be a surprise, possibly with a visit from family, and it was going to be big.  She honestly did not look 59 and people would have been shocked to learn that she was about to hit such a milestone.  But as fate would have it, three days after I started looking into ideas for her big bash, I started planning her funeral.  She did not get to make it.  She had missed it by 44 days.

On the day that would have been her 60th Birthday, I found myself wondering what to do.  I was at my cousin’s house in Savannah and wanted to honor her in some way.  So she and I decided to make a chocolate cake with chocolate icing just like we always did.  So this tradition continued.  Every year, I still honor my mom with a chocolate cake.  The picture below is my cake from 2011, my second year without her here.  Tonight, it didn’t happen due to pure exhaustion, but cake will happen this weekend.


Tonight on my drive home I still had a moment in which I found myself thinking of her and what shenanigans we would probably be up to.  I don’t ever spend a lot of time thinking about “what ifs” because I think that keeps us longing for things out of our control and for me that is too hard.  But tonight, “Fix You” by Coldplay came on my Spotify, and I thought of what we would be doing on this 68th birthday.

“And the tears come streaming down your face, when you lose something you can’t replace, when you love someone, but it goes to waste? Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home. And ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you.”

I thought of “I Love Lucy” reruns.  I thought of matching Christmas pajamas.  I thought of the glow of our Christmas tree in our living room that was too big for just the two of us while eating an entire chocolate cake covered in every kind of sprinkle that was in our house with no extra plates needed, just two forks. What a sight that would be.  Lights literally guided me home tonight as tears streamed down my face while I was trying to drive.  But they also lead me to our safe place and my brain and soul was ignited by the memories from birthday number 41 to 59 that I got to be a part of and then those since then.  I will not ever be fixed because this day will always be hard, but I am thankful for our December 28th memories of years past and those yet to come.

Happy Birthday sweet Mama of mine. I hope it was a good one. I love you more than that.

Published by Bryna Talamantez

LMFT specializing in grief counseling for children, teens, adults and families.

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