It's my birthday, and I should be celebrating. I guess I did a little this morning, treating myself to a bit of love courtesy of the Big Green S.
But ... But ... but.
It's just not quite right.
I didn't get a card this year, like I have 37 times before, in my Mom's flowing script.
I didn't get a voicemail this morning singing "Happy Birthday" just a little too fast, addressed to me with a nickname only my Mom ever used.
I didn't get an email signed, "Love, MOM."
I did get a really cute 2-year-old telling me very emphatically that it's MY DADDY'S BIRTHDAY today. I did get a wonderful phone call from my niece and nephew in which my nephew sang to me like his Nana used to. I did get surprised at work by a serenade from the production crew, and I did get lots of well wishes over the interwebs. And, of course, I got a big hug from Kim.
Sunday was tough, but we started forming our own memories, and we had a wonderful day as a family. I'm not as easily distracted today, though, and it just feels ... empty. Incomplete. Like I can't quite put my finger on the exact feeling, even though I know why I'm feeling it. Just not altogether there. My birth was a big deal for my Mom, and so became my birthday, no matter how often I complained that Tim was her favorite.
We go back to Chicago this weekend for the first time. In fact, I think this is the longest I've ever been away for one span in my life. I have to admit, I'm a little scared, and completely unsure of what awaits us there. I'm very much looking forward to Passing Strange, but I also know that it is going to rip my heart out. And maybe that's a good thing -- maybe part of today is that I'm a little disconnected, a little bit in a holding pattern, since we don't deal with the more tangible reminders every day. And so it's on days like today that it hits me most.
But what I wouldn't give to hear her sing to me just one more time.