Wednesday, 27 June 2012
My birthday last year was wonderful. The husband and I visited friends for a few days and I spent the daytime going to markets, bookshops and yoga classes while he worked and then we all met up again in the evenings for some great dinners and funny conversations. It was a completely self-indulgent, alternate reality that I came back from with a jolt when I got a phone call with terrible, if not entirely unexpected, news during the taxi ride home from my birthday dinner.
One moment I was in a taxi with three of my favourite people, a slight champagne and good food buzz fizzing through the air as we joked and talked nonsense, the next moment I was yanked right back to sobriety and guilt. Guilt for the laughter just a moment before, guilt for not knowing, guilt for being on the other side of the world.
So as my birthday came around this year, the bar was set pretty low. I felt a small knot of panic every time I thought about the approaching date. Thankfully, there weren't any more late night phone calls.
The husband set out on a mission to distract and entertain me all day long. There was food, lots and lots of good food.
And a new camera lens (that I can't quite always focus yet) that I had lots and lots of fun with. We came home at the end of the day completely exhausted and feeling like we wouldn't need to eat for the rest of the week.
I sat and raised a little toast and gave thanks. Lots of thanks for lives well-lived, cherished memories and for a wonderful husband who distracted me when I needed it and left me to sit quietly when I needed that too.