February 4- 

     In theory this should be a wonderful day.  It’s my birthday.  However under the circumstances, it’s not really on my radar.  It is my opening shift at work, so I fall into my “normal” morning routine.  I get into the door at work and back to my classroom.  All is okay until I turn the lights on and look up.  Then the tears start flowing.  While I was gone, Natalie had all my kids help create a large birthday banner (which mind you, is now folded and crammed in one of the keepsake boxes).

      As I stand there in silence, taking it all in, and opening my room, thankfully Sherry walked in.  She gave me a big hug and a card, and helped me open the rooms.  We didn’t say much, but that was okay.  A little while later Katie came in, gave me a big hug and said “happy birthday”.  She asked how I was doing and I said alright.  I know today is going to a little on the tough side. 

    The day went on “normal like”, with moments of sheer overwhelmingness.  But, I made it through.  Upon getting home I had a stack of cards to open.  This will be a day I will never forget.  Not everyone can that, for every birthday card they open on their birthday, they opened a sympathy card as well.   And so went the emotions like a giant teeter totter, up (joy, yeah!  Happy birthday), and then down (slamming hard into the ground… “I’, sorry for your loss).  While reading my email, I found out that my mom had been through a miscarriage.  I was a little frustrated at first that she didn’t say anything when they were up the weekend after it happened.  But later came to the realization that my mom was not only feeling my pain, she was feeling hers own as feelings arose and most likely didn’t know what to say or do.

    It had been such an unusual birthday I didn’t feel much like celebrating, but Raun said we should do something.  So we went out to eat at one of favorite places, The Cheeky Monkey.  With Raun’s gift I decided I was going to buy a memorial necklace, but he said he had a better place to look for one.  So I decided to peruse it later. 

   That night Raun’s mom Barb had driven up for the weekend and she stopped by.  We chatted and opened gifts until it was time to pick my dad, Steve, up from the airport.  He and my mom were down in St. Louise at a Wine Trade Show.  My dad wanted to fly up to be here for the memorial service on Saturday.  My mom was wishing she was able to be there, but someone had to man the booth.  So she sent her thoughts and prayers.  That night, we all stayed up chatting and eating birthday cake.  Then it was to bed and to brace for what tomorrow would bring.

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