I was thinking about you yesterday. I think about you every day, but yesterday you barely left my thoughts because it was your birthday.

I thought about how you used to joke that Maddie missed out on having an awesome birthday by just two days. I would have loved for the two of you to share a birthday, but two days apart wasn’t so bad.

I drove down the coast and looked out at the ocean. I thought about how we used to argue over who had the better beaches, Northern California or Southern California. I said the So Cal weather made it no contest. You thought that the view across The Bay made the Nor Cal beaches superior. Then we’d joke that we were looking at the same ocean, and one of us would usually start singing “Somewhere Out There” from An American Tail because we were cheesy like that.

so cal

I thought about how we used to call each other on our birthdays and sing. I have always been lazy about deleting voice mails, but for once laziness has paid off:

Jackie's voicemails

The last message you left me was on my birthday. I listened to your singing, over and over.

2012 is a leap year, and I realized I spent my extra day this year driving up to see you. A perfect bonus day.

I thought about how you wanted to see the Grand Canyon. I wish I’d just thrown you in my car and driven you there.

I remembered your birthday twelve or thirteen years ago, when we surprised you and took you to a Brazilian place for dinner. At first you were like, “What IS this place?” But by the end of dinner, you were up dancing with the professionals.

I remembered that you came down for Maddie’s walk this year, even though you were so sick and shouldn’t have. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled that you came, that I wasn’t so incredibly happy to have you there supporting me. Because I still needed you. I still need you.

I realized this will be the first time in years that I won’t have dinner with you the night before Thanksgiving.

I thought about how I can’t call to tell you I’m pregnant. It’s so unfair that you never got to have children. I know how hard it was to see so many of your friends have the kids you always wanted, but even when you were hurting so much you were still so happy for all of us. I was so nervous to tell you I was expecting earlier this year, right after you’d found out your tumor had stopped responding to treatment. But you were so happy for me, and you said, “I only hope I’m still here to meet your little bean.”

I wish that so much, but mostly I just wish you were still here.

We need a napa
together on your birthday four years ago