Saturday, March 06, 2010

(Almost) 30 Years of Barry

I have so much to write this weekend, but can't seem to get my thoughts straight at all. The difficulty of that stems from the fact that we have two birthdays this weekend. Today was Barry's 30th Birthday. Tomorrow is A's 4th Birthday. Tomorrow is my sister's 23d Birthday.

I suspected that today would be a hard day for us, but it wasn't all that bad to be honest. I purposely planned A's birthday for today so we could get through it. I had her party at Chuck E Cheese's this morning, upon the insistence of my friend Rebecca who encouraged me to have a party for her even though i wasn't feeling it this year. The party went great actually! She was spoiled by all her friends that came, and we enjoyed white and chocolate cupcakes with pink and purple frosting. The weather was beautiful today, so when we got home, the kids and I had an impromptu photo shoot outside. I got some beautiful photos that I will be printing out and framing. We really did have a fantastic afternoon in the sunshine.

My plan for the night was to take the kids to our favorite family restaurant, and Barry's favorite, a local Chinese Buffet. I had actually decided ages ago though, that we would go there every year on his birthday. A way to honor his memory in a way. It really was his favorite restaurant, he LOVED it there. After his funeral in October, my family and his family, all my family, we all went to the restaurant together to honor him as well. We had such a good time that Friday night, and the kids and I had a good time tonight too. But walking into that restaurant without him was strange, surreal...I felt memories wash over me like a tsnunami. Even the smell reminded me of him.

As I sat there at the table with the kids, I could see him sitting across from me. My memories were so incredibly vivid, that I could really see him sitting there in his black t-shirt, a plate piled high with Chinese food and a beer in front of him. I could see him, hear him...I almost could have reached out and touched him.

Never before have my memories been so vivid. Never before in the last five months has he been so real to me. It was almost a comfort to me, knowing I could conjure him up just like that. I don't know that I could ever, will ever, do that again though. It was nice to see him, but I don't know...I just don't know.

I really expected myself to be a snivelling mess today, but you know what, I haven't cried once. We sang Happy Birthday to Daddy, we went out for dinner to his favorite restaurant, we laughed and we remembered him. I have the kids working on writing him a letter, which I am going to have them do every year around his birthday. They can read them when they are older. I myself bought him a card yesterday when i was at Target, and that surprisingly was the hardest for me, and I sobbed as I picked it out. I had the same idea for myself as I did for the kids: I will buy him a card every year, write in it and seal it, and then open it up years down the road, or leave it for the kids when I am no longer here anymore.

Tomorrow is A's 4th birthday. I am going to try write about her if I can...but writing about two birthdays in two days, is a bit much for me. Emotionally exhausting if you may.


Michelle said...


I hope that going there was healing.I'm sure that going in the first time was extremely difficult.As was tonight.

Happy Birthday to your four year old!!!

Jason said...

There are going to be a lot of firsts, seconds, fifths and so on. Writing about them is really a great way to articulate what you're feeling and put some positive use to a lot of uncertain energy. You literally are doing something about the way you feel.

Let's plan on meeting up soon and letting the girls just be girls. Next sunny day they can play in our backyard on Hannah's new swing - or just play in the mud.

Chrissy said...

Well every year will be different.. I will tell u that around the anniversary day of when my husband passed I would have moments ... I remmeber my daughter calling me and not understanding why she was so overly sensitive and she had called me up crying... A friend told me it was the body going thru the shock of the death... The first 4 years around the anniversary or at holidays it would hit me.... that was when I pulled out my journal... My counselor told me to write a letter to my husband which ended up being theraputic.. it helped me release what i was feeling... Try it, it may help you...

Single Parent Dad said...

Way to go Joanna.

I am pleased to read that the day was much more positive that you had imagined it to be, and that writing it down has helped, however exhausting it all is.

Hope you have a great, and as relaxing as possible, week.