Moms Columns & Blogs

Sweet Sixteen

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Time unfurls endlessly, carrying us away from the past, whether we care to go or not…  Days pass one after another, nights come and go; the big fiery ball strolls across the sky, yielding each eve to the shape shifter and its minions, without fail…without a care for this world below…  

This was to be a big year for milestone birthdays: Grace’s Sweet 16, Brian’s Hallelujah 18, and my own Lordy She’s 40.  John’s June 13 birthday came and went within hours of the accident; there were no celebrations of any kind; no fanfare, cake or presents…  How could we?  We couldn't.  I’m not sure if John will ever want to acknowledge his birthday again; the month of June is forever stained with the color of our sorrow…  

Somehow we managed to pull off Gracie’s Sweet 16 party, but until it was over I wasn’t sure if I could actually do it.  Having so many of her and Brian’s friends here in mass for the first time since the funeral brought scrambled emotions; glimmers of happiness quickly tempered by guilt and sadness set against a backdrop of confusion...  At first I was afraid no one would show up because of the volatile, complicated nature of teenage friendships, but thankfully my fear was unfounded.  At Grace’s request, we served lasagna and salad instead of hamburgers and hotdogs; chocolate cupcakes with teal icing instead of traditional birthday cake.  Many of the kids commented how they like coming to our house because we always have good food.  I’m not sure why, but I still feel compelled to feed anyone who steps through our door, no matter who it is, how many there are or what we have to offer…the mother hen in me keeps clucking…  

I would have to say this was one of my hardest performances to date; as I put on my makeup, I practiced my cheesy, silly smile and hoped it would look more like a goofy grin instead of a grimace when the time came.  I wept silently in my soul every time a friend signed the mat for her birthday picture; again as we belted out ‘Happy Birthday’ off key at the top of our lungs; and once more as she carefully blew out her candle and made her wish…  Although she never said a word about it, I know she and Brian had big plans for this day…  We gave her a simple Tiffany necklace with two tiny hearts on it, telling her that one heart was her brother’s, and his would always be right next to hers now.  It wasn’t the exact necklace she requested, but it was what we could afford and more importantly, it spoke to me…  

How do you make something real and beautiful and special when you’ve all lost your way?  I’m not exactly sure…hopefully there was enough love to make it seem so…

Wishing you sunshine and hope…TG 

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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