In all the years I've been online, I've never mentioned my mom's birthday. Not once. Nor have I marked the anniversary of her death over the years, as neither of these things have felt relevant in my experience or taken up residence in my head or heart. They simply don't cross my mind as each year passes.
To be honest, I don't even know the exact date of my mom's death despite me being there when it happened, although a quick click to my post about her last week of life would give me that information. I know it was September 2009 and that's all that has stuck with me. I'm not always the best at retaining the specifics of certain things.
Regardless, this week I was very aware of my mom's birthday coming up; a date that has never been significant to me before now. I even went through old photos to find one so that I could mark this day visually and publicly. This is a first. For whatever reason, I cared.
As I posted the above photo on Facebook, I began to cry. And I cried for quite a while.
This particular photo just moves me. I see a mother who loves her daughter and a daughter who is beaming from that love. I see me at my purest, aglow from a tender kiss, and although I don't know what my role was in that awesome cake, I bet I had a little something to do with it. I imagine I felt incredibly proud for the part I played, no matter how small it was. I'm sure it was me who was lucky enough to stick the candles in.
I was reaching up for love, and at that age I was still receiving it. This was before everything in my world changed. At this point, my ultimate joy was in making my mother happy. And here it looks like I was succeeding.
I love this photo because it is filled with love. The kind of love I have always deserved.
Thank you for that moment, mama.
Happy birthday to you.
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