Today would have been Stephen’s 36th birthday. Today is Stephen’s 36th birthday. Stephen is 36.
Which one is correct? I don’t know how that works.
Every once in a while you hear about a dead celebrity on their birthday…Elvis would have been 70…Princess Di would have been 40…Ronald Reagan would have been 100…
But I have a hard time imagining Princess Di as a middle-aged mother of the groom. Or Elvis old enough for his military pension (or, maybe he would be as well-preserved as Bob Barker who, I am convinced, died in 1998 and has been cleverly replaced by a Disney animatronic). I have a hard time, too, imagining my husband pushing 40.
He is six weeks older than me. For six weeks of the year I refered to him as “my old man”. I forget about those things with more frequency.
I am annoying myself.
All the time…the hours and days and weeks probably spent on pining for a man who was such a part of me. Is. Would be. Shit.
How is it that I keep thinking about him and about us as a family when we barely got started?
Ella is 6 and a half (officially) (and will tell anyone that asks). She has lived more of her life without him than with. Amelia reached that dubious honor several years ago. They are more curious, lately, about their brother than their father. This is the life that they know and, honestly, they are okay with it.
Which makes me think I should be okay with it. And part of me is. Okay. Part of me. And that might be all that will ever be okay.
This spring marks four years since his diagnosis. Four years is a long time, relatively. We are getting into “Really? Has it been that long?” range.
And I am annoying myself. I can’t even imagine what others think. I honestly don’t care and don’t want to know most of the time. But if I am annoyed? You all must be really annoyed.
Today is Stephen’s birthday. He would have been 36.
And I am still in pieces. Not itty bitty pieces, not anymore. I’m more like the books that the bully knocked out of some wimp’s hands and she hurries to pick them all up before anybody notices or makes the situation worse. All while trying not to be late to wherever she was going. Wait? Am I the wimp or the books?
Either way, it’s not like trying to sweep glitter (the herpes of craft supplies: it never goes away). The pieces are much easier to find. There’s just so damn many of them that it is overwhelming sometimes. Most times. All the time.
One piece at a time. And, really, who cares if I ever get there?
By asking the question, I am still…annoying myself.