As I sit here listening to your old voice mails, I know you would be furious to think that I am at home, in bed, listening to Slim Dusty and bawling. I just can’t help it. It’s my first birthday since we lost you and I’ll fucking cry if I want to. It just doesn’t feel right without you Old Boy.
Looking through old photographs – as I so often do – I see how safe and warm your giant bear hands would make me feel when I was a Blonde, green eyed, Barbie obsessed little human. Today I turn 26. You know, it’s ironic, after years of wishing I was home with you for my birthday instead of getting a call, I would settle for hearing your voice on the other end of the phone this time.
You would be the first call of the day. I would be half asleep and fumbling around for my phone. I would see your name light up the screen and remember what day it was. Your big, beaming voice would always ask if I was still in bed (knowing full well that I was) and you would tell me that even Birthday Girls needed to get up and at em’. Although I tend to agree, I might stay here for a little longer today.
This morning Lance made the first call of the day and you’d be happy to know that he asked me the same question, in the same tone, in the way only the son of my favourite man could. I held it together while 2 of Poppy’s favourites wished their Aunty Caketin a Happy Birthday but as I hung up the phone I burst into tears.
They say all the ‘firsts’ are the worst after losing someone you love and it is certainly proving to be true. You’ve already missed birthdays. Your beautiful Wife will celebrate her’s in a few weeks and then yours is later in the month and Father’s Day too. What about Christmas and then the dreaded one year mark since you’ve been gone? I’m sure as hard as we try to stay positive, they will be just as shitty as this first is. Truth is, every day has been hard.
I’m waiting for it to ‘get easier’ – every one tells me it happens but I’m starting to truly believe that everyone is lying. Losing you will never be easy. The smell of Brut still makes me do a double take and the sight of a moustache has the ability to turn me into a blubbering mess. We will always wish you were here. There will always be a giant hole where your cheeky grin, false teeth, checkered shirts and stinky shoes should be.
I know it’s not all doom and gloom and I’m not alone though Dad so please don’t worry, I have so many wonderful people who are looking after me today. My beautiful spotty dog, new and old friends, family of course and probably a pizza delivery man at some point. I will get through today. I will get up and at em’, just as soon as I finish this post. I promise. This birthday babe has things to do, people to see and 26 years of a life to celebrate.
So, as my Facebook Newsfeed fills, the phone continues to ring, IG beeps and texts chime through and my brain starts to process there will be no ‘notification’ from you. I will be okay. The real gift, the gift that I have been blessed enough to forever receive is the knowledge that where ever I am, what ever first I happen to be enduring, this birthday and every single one after this; you’re with me.
I miss you Papa Bear and I love you so much.
Love, your little birthday girl.