Birthday breakfast in bed
When I was growing up, my family often missed birthdays, and what might have been a special occasion became just another day. But when Julie came into the family, she made sure that no one was left without a party.
Depending on which side of the equator we found ourselves, my birthday was celebrated either in the midst of wonderfully sunny summer days or cold and rainy winter days. This year the forecast for my birthday here in Paraguay includes rain and freezing temperatures. But it will also be cold because Julie won’t be here.
Every June 22, I can remember Julie getting up an hour earlier to make something special for me. Often a birthday breakfast would include crunchy pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, or fruit salad. Julie would brew special Brazilian coffee, add an extra touch to a favorite recipe, and serve it all to me while I was still in bed. Tomorrow, however, my birthday just won’t be the same. I will wake up, and, unless Anahi is asking for milk or the dog is barking, there will be only silence.
Jewls, I would give the world to have just one more breakfast with you. One more time when I could hear your voice saying, "Happy Birthday, Norb! I love you. This is your special day." I want to tell you that I cherish your intentionality in making special occasions count and in building family memories. I can only learn from you now, so I will take this valuable tradition and continue celebrating it with Anahi. It’s not the same without you, but I will not give in to defeat. I know you are celebrating in heaven.
Goodbye, Julie. Thanks for teaching me to celebrate. Thanks for showing me that life needs to be experienced in the now. I say goodbye with sadness for not having you with me, but I say goodbye also with hope that life on this side of heaven will still give me a number of years to serve, love, and celebrate with Anahi. You had so many dreams for this little one. You would be so proud of her. Her birthday is coming up in September, and, let me tell you, we are going to have a party. Anahi will be celebrated!