As I celebrate turning 36 years old today, I’ve been thinking back on memories from some of my past birthdays.
I was very sad this morning thinking back on my birthday last year when Grandma called me at 7:30 in the morning. She said she wanted to be the very first person to wish me a Happy Birthday that day.
Then she told me the tale of my birth and how she found out that I had entered the world. Due to the fact that my parents were pretty young and unmarried and had a VERY rocky relationship, and also that my birth mother was severely personality disordered and HATED Grandma’s guts, my father kept the news of my mother’s pregnancy a secret from his family until the day I was born.
Grandma recalled how she was at home in the spare bedroom hanging up wallpaper that day when my young father came home from work and immediately began getting cleaned up and changing clothes to go somewhere. When Grandma asked him where he was running off to, my father admitted to her that he was going to the hospital because “there was a little girl coming”. To say that Grandma was shocked was an understatement. Grandma wasn’t really angry about learning that she was about to become a grandmother for the first time, but she did point her finger at my father and told him point blank that no matter what happened between him and my mother, he was going to give me his name and be a father to me, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Due to the extreme bad blood between Grandma and my Narcissistic Personality Disordered mother, Grandma knew that it was best not to go to the hospital to meet me. So she quietly stayed at home and waited it out. Meanwhile, a huge ruckus apparently broke out at the hospital between my father, my mother, and my mother’s family, who apparently were trying to sneakily have me taken from the hospital and immediately put up for adoption. They knew that my mother was far too mentally unstable to care for a child. But Dad wasn’t about to let them whisk me away to an orphanage.
Grandma didn’t get to meet me until I was about a month old. But from the day I entered this world on my day of birth, she was in my corner looking out for me, and she remained in my corner until the day she died nearly a year ago. She was always looking out for me and trying to protect me from my birth mother’s insanity….sometimes out in the open and sometimes quietly behind the scenes. There were things Grandma did for me that I didn’t know about until I was an adult.
Grandma won’t be calling me today, though. This is the first birthday I’ve ever had without her, and it’s hard. I’m missing her very much today. 😔
Here are some other memories I have from past birthdays:
For my 20th birthday, Grandma and Grandpa drove an hour and a half to my college campus just to bring me a homemade birthday cake and take me out to dinner. As we were sitting down in the restaurant, Grandpa sat across the table from me and remarked, “Twenty years, huh? I can’t believe it’s been that long. I remember the day I saw you for the first time. You were dressed in all pink, and I captured you immediately.”
On my 18th birthday, my best friend Nate showed up at my door that evening with a funny birthday card, a box of fried cinnamon sticks from the pizzeria he worked at, and an invitation to go to the movies to see the new “Waterboy” movie. My memory is a little hazy, but I must have already mentioned earlier that week that I had a hunch that he was planning on doing all of that for my birthday, because when I answered the door and found him standing there, the first thing he said was, “You’re too damn smart for your own good, you know that?”
On my 10th birthday, my parents got me a grown-up looking denim jumper dress with leotards, left my brother’s annoying ass at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the evening, and took me out of town to a dimly lit grown-up restaurant that we ate at as a family once in a rare while. Since I had now reached the double-digit ages, they wanted me to celebrate my birthday like a “Big Girl”. I remember they left my brother with Grandma and Grandpa that evening because they wanted me to enjoy my birthday dinner without him trying to climb out of his high chair and make a big mess at the table. I appreciated that. 🙂
For my 33rd and 34th birthdays, I had VIP parties at one of my favorite night clubs in downtown West Palm Beach. The expensive bottles of liquor were paid for by new friends and acquaintances of mine whom I didn’t even really know that well yet. I was so flattered that they did that for me. They were awesome parties, and I’m hoping to do that again tonight….even if I have to buy the bottles this time. 😉