Birthday Party

Audrey is hopefully napping soon (though not yet!)...and her party is ready to go.  There is a music mix of fun songs, a whole bunch of purple balloons, lots of food, cupcakes, gummy bunnies and rainbow colored bunting strung all around the living room.  Thanks to the help of a dear friend, we moved almost all of the toys and stuff out of the living room just leaving a few of the prettier wooden toys and pushed the couch back leaving a big open space.  Then I'll roll out a huge roll of paper on the floor and set out rainbow colored crayons in pink cups.  Childhood things have such an innate beauty to them.  How lucky as a parent to have them in my life again.

I have been busy.  My friend and her toddler were here since Friday- the party is today.  Tomorrow will be Audrey's actual 2 year birthday.  It will be quiet.  Why is it always like that?  The funeral on the 16th...a quiet day on the day after- our wedding anniversary.  Or is that how it should be?  A time for reflection and acknowledging your absence.

This party seems like something the old me would have done- except that we were planning on just going to the carousel in Bryant Park and brunch afterwards at the Bryant Park Grill- just the three of us this year- you, me, and Audrey.  I am so sad that vision will not happen.

And even thought this party feels like the old me - the decorations and stress of it all- I don't recognize a thing going on...because I keep remembering...

you are dead.  You will not be here today.  You are missing her birthday Dan.  I know you'd be so upset.  This is really happening- I think in the back of my mind- you are truly gone because if this were a joke, if you were in hiding, surely Audrey's second birthday would mean the end of all that, and out you would come saying the way you did, "Hiiiii Auuuudrey!  Appa loves you so much!"

I should take a nap myself before the guests and toddlers arrive- but I am probably too wired- feeling too many things.

It feels like you've been gone a very long time- but then it also feels like yesterday that I saw you.  This paradox sounds trite and overused but it is completely true.   How can that be?  I thought it had been three months since your burial but then realized it has only been two. Two months is a very short time, I think.  How am I functioning at all?  How have I managed to pull together a birthday party at my home?  I think it's because I still don't get it.  It scares me because I wonder what is coming next?  There will surely be a breakdown.  Many widows tell me it's at six months.  But there is nothing to do but forge ahead.  Today I will play Ella Fitzgerald's Jazz for Kids loudly and serve blueberry cake.  Tomorrow I will think of the birth of our daughter and that defining moment for both of us.  I will celebrate and I will mourn.  There is a time for everything, they say- a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.  I wish it was that simple- but sometimes, like today- they coalesce.  This is life in a beautiful, fallen world.