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Deep Breath…my birthday is exactly 28 days away. In 4 weeks I turn 49 and yeah SH** just got real for me. I started this post hours ago ..I do not really need to write it ..but then again I kind of do..time is marching forward and there is nothing I can do to slow its progress or halt that day from coming. The clock keeps ticking and nothing is making much sense. All I can do is breathe and lean in to what is coming.

I keep trying to analyze what exactly all of this means . I have come to the conclusions that On the surface, it is just another birthday ..it is just a date on the calendar that passes once every 365 days, special to me and the others who share this date as their birthday or anniversary but nothing special to the universe. Including the day I was born I have had 49  birthdays .but deep down  I am aware this one is different. This year I am 49 ..I am the same age my mother turned not long before she died. This age, this date has loomed over my head for almost 33 years since I was 16.  When I was 16 ..49 was old..49 was a long time away..49 was abstract.  49 is now 28 days away and I am not ready.

I want to go back 10 years..I want to go back and appreciate the little things .. I want to go back 32 years and I want to take a picture of my mother so I can remember what she looks like before the chemotherapy took away her hair and made her scent change to this rancid chemical smell I can’t forget.  I want to go back and  record her voice so I remember what it sounds like..I want her to take a good look and remember me, I want to hope that she took me with her. I am in the real of what happened ..I don’t know where it goes from here. I want my children to have a tangible record of their grandmother vs her being this abstract person like an undeveloped character in a book they know well but don;t really relate to at all. I want them to understand where they come from..I want to understand where I come from. I know precious few things about who my mother was other than the superficial nuggets I was privy to ..I was her daughter and she shut me out even at the end. I am not sure if she loved me more than anyone else in her life ..I never had the chance to ask her ..when she received her diagnosis I barely had time to catch my breath and understand what was happening and then she was gone..and I was alone.

I have no idea of what aging looks like on the other side of 49. I don’t have that model for what life looks like going forward..when my hair will turn gray or white (it already has started but unlike my mother I am fighting it with every weapon in my arsenal) I don’t know what illnesses or joys are ahead..This birthday..this year is complicated ..the reality is overwhelming. I am realizing all I have missed having been on my own for 32 ..almost 33 years … my wedding dress was something chosen all on my own, my wedding day when a familiar stranger walked me down the aisle ..my babies born and no one to ask was I like this? What do I do? I figured it out on my own and I am not sure IF my mother were alive things would have been different…I just know all of that was taken from me..

My birthday is 4 weeks away..as far as I know I am rather different than my mother ..but I will keep breathing deep until June 10..and I will hold my breath until July 15 ..this is a tough year ..but I am a tough girl and I will get through this ..but I am going to admit right now …I miss my mom