Every year, my birthday approaches and I am filled with a mixture of anticipation and sorrow. Anticipation for my birthday on one hand, but on the other hand, sorrow for my family’s loss on this day 19 years ago.
When I was little, my mom had a baby girl who was born 3 months prematurely. Alyssa Michelle was born March 11, the day before my birthday. She only lived for 1 hour. I never held her, never saw her, never truly understood at the time what had occurred. Even to this day, we still don’t talk about it very much.
That year, I don’t remember celebrating my birthday. I’m sure we did, but I it’s not a birthday that sticks in my mind. So every year, my birthday is tinged with sadness. My parents tried not to let it affect my birthday celebrations, but I’d catch the absentminded looks, the shared glances, the pained faces. We quietly move past March 11 into March 12 and do all of the normal birthday things, but it’s different.
The past affects the present, although as time passes, the pain subsides. But it’s still there. It still lingers.
Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!