Today is my birthday. I don’t write this to elicit tons of birthday wishes. I just want to savor the day.
20 years ago, I was 24 and very sad. I felt like a failure because I was still living at home…an over-achiever with two college degrees – but not a clue what to do with my life.
But what a difference a year makes!
By my 25th birthday, I had secured a satisfying job as a high school science teacher and in my spare time, I was spending lots of time with Eric, my future husband :)
However, at that time, my relationship with Eric was complicated – mainly because he was the primary caregiver to his mom, who was suffering from brain cancer. For the previous two years, she had fought valiantly – enduring experimental treatments, but two months before my birthday, the tumor had returned, and she waved her white flag. In the months leading up to my 25th birthday, she stayed in bed – limited by the growing tumor. But on February 24th, 1996, she made a decision to celebrate me.
As soon as my work-day ended, I drove to Eric’s condo where he lived with his mom and brother. She had ordered her sons to go to the grocery store to prepare for my birthday. I walked in to see yellow roses and store-bought cupcakes. She was sitting on the living-room sofa. This was the last time I saw her out of bed. She would die at home, four months later.
Fast forward 19 years and this is still my favorite birthday memory. Eric’s mom didn’t know me long, but she instinctively knew I was the future-wife of her first-born son. Her name was Anne. Our precious Anne is her namesake. I’m so thankful for Eric’s mom!
Happy 44th birthday to me. I’m sure Eric’s mom is celebrating from heaven, cheering on her precious Anne, laughing with Kate and being proud of Canon. I can’t wait to see her again!