Saturday, March 3, 2018

Grandma said there'd be days like this

 When I was a kid my grandmother had certain “days.”  Two of those  "days"  were the anniversary of the day my grandfather died and his birthday. I didn’t remember my grandfather; he died when I was two, so those days didn't mean anything to me. Still, it was obvious that those days effected my grandmother deeply. She was obviously down needed everyone to acknowledge that. She would say she felt “a little blue” in her soft Dutch accent. 

 My dad, her only child, would remind all 7 of us to give Grandma a call because it was one of her "days." So, my siblings and I would pick up the phone and call her or, if possible, drop by and see her and say all the right things.  I always did it, mostly because my dad asked me to. It was an obligation, not a heartfelt gesture. At the time I just didn't  understand it.

 Now, 31 years after my grandmother died (at age 97), I feel like I owe her an apology. Because now I understand. Now, I have “days” too. 

 March 3rd is a "day" for me. It is the day my life changed because it is the day Maggie was born.

Today would be Maggie’s 24th birthday.

I presume everyone has “days” and we all handle them differently. My grandmother was “blue” but I don’t feel that way today. I remember my happy smiling daughter and miss her a little more than usual, but that’s ok.  Unlike my grandmother, I do not need anyone else to acknowledge this day, but it is important that I do.

 March 3rd is a day that has evoked many different emotions over the past 24 years. The year Maggie was born it was a day of shock and fear, which is the exact opposite of how the day you have a baby should feel.  For many years when Maggie was little, it was a difficult day because instead of celebrating milestones, this day was a reminder of milestones she wasn’t hitting. She wasn’t walking, she wasn’t talking etc etc.  After a few years I stopped worrying about what she wasn’t doing and noticed what and who she actually was. Once I got to that point, March 3 was a day of celebration. Maggie loved her birthday. It was the day everyone focused on her. (Oh wait, that was every day.) For the past 4 years it is a day of remembering, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, always a bit melancholy.

So March 3 is a “day” for me. It is a day of strong emotions and powerful memories, good and bad. I guess that makes it kind of an incredible day, which is fitting because she was an incredible person.

Happy Birthday Maggie. We miss you today and always.