Today would have been my dads seventieth birthday, s-e-v-e-n-t-y, the BIG 7-0. My understanding is that it’s not as big as 60 or 80, at least when it comes to celebrations, but still I think it’s a big birthday.
I find it strange how once we hit 30 we tend to only celebrate the decades, the years in between flutter [or fly] by without any big cause for celebration. It’s like society has decided you should only celebrate the birthdays it has decided are kind of a big deal.
Even if he were still here, and we were celebrating today I really don’t know what we’d be doing. Quite honestly I try not to think in ‘what if’s because a ‘what if’ means my present life would likely not be the same.
I reflected today, and I realised that he had two very clear traditions for his birthdays:
1] Never work on your birthday
2] Chocolate cake and coffee at 6am
…yes I 100% take after him…
You see I don’t remember ever doing anything big or special for his birthdays, except for when he turned 50. My memory may not be exact, but we had a big all-day celebration, for some reason it was a joint party with family friends who were getting married that September. We had gazebos running down our lawn, a BBQ and I seem to remember it was daytime aka the older folks during the day 😉 and the younger friends in the evening.
I was 10 so I don’t remember all the details, but right now I think was a very odd party to host…
The other amazing part of that year, 1997, was our first trip to New York City. It was my mums gift to my dad, we went in the October half term and that trip was the start of what has become a love affair with this city. The same city I got married in on the 11th August just six years ago.
I should point out that I have zero clue where this blog is going, maybe it won’t be published or shared, but I’ve spent most of today feeling very emotional.
In the chaos of travelling to London with Greyson today, I forgot that it was the 5th August, and it didn’t even occur to me until 11am this morning that my dad would have been seventy.
For the first time in 14 years I forgot.
Initially I felt guilt and shame, these two f*ckers like to show up on a regular basis, and then I took a moment — privately in the solitude of a toilet cubicle because #momming and I realised that I do not need to feel shame or guilt.
I’ve been waiting for this moment, the transition from living in my past to moving forward, never forgetting, but letting go of what cannot be changed.
This year I’ve been working on rewriting my story, and I feel like I’m in a great position with many of previous mindset blocks, but my dads passing still held onto me with all it’s force. Or rather I held onto it. Perhaps for this very fear, fear of forgetting, but when I recently did a forgiveness mediation, I couldn’t picture him.
During this mediation I felt conflicted, I don’t need to forgive him, sure he wasn’t perfect but I refuse to see him in any other way. And then I realised that I needed to forgive myself.
The realisation that I am angry at myself has propelled me forward, and now I need to process this and work on it.
Today was fucking tough though. I was already anxious going to London with Greyson, and it was actually okay, until I remembered…seventy.
My kid, he’s incredible. I love him to bits, more than any words can explain — but being a mum doesn’t come naturally to me. I know all mothers struggle, but I’m not a caregiver at my core. I know that Greyson picks up on my emotions, and so today there were many tears. He cried over the smallest things, and as I heard myself ask him in frustration “Why are you crying?” I realised that this was a horrible question, and that the answer was fucking obvious.
So this evening, when he stopped crying about the fact his cheeks were wet from his own tears [yes this was a real thing] and fell asleep in the car. I quietly sat in back of the car in amongst my shame and guilt, wallowing in my vulnerability.
The tears came, they continued for what felt like hours. The kind which make your throat hurt, and I started forgiving myself. I started with the most recent situations, because I’ve got a lot to work through, and I was able to string together an entire series of events which I didn’t even quite realise had happened.
I’m not going to get into the messy details of my forgiveness, that’s a blog for another time.
I’m not writing this because I want sympathy or feedback, what I want is for you to know that in those moments when you feel like you need to sit down, and cry, and just feel the pain in your body. It’s okay. You are not weird, it’s not hormones, and it’s not crazy.
It’s honest, real and a process of authenticity with yourself.