I just turned 32.
Every year on my birthday my mother has to call me and remind me of how many hours she was in labor with me. She has to remind me of how much pain she was in on that exact day... however many years ago. She must also remind me what a pain in the ass I've always been. It's a really hard phone call to take. This year on my birthday I made it a point to post on her Facebook wall a very positive message to her, wishing HER a happy birthday and thanking her for being my mother for the last 32 years.
It didn't matter. I still got the phone call.
When Gramps was alive he would remind me that he was the first person to hold me after I was born. My bio dad was dead - only weeks before I was born, so my Gramps was there waiting for me. When my Gramps told the story about how the nurses laid me in his arms... and how I was the tiniest thing he'd ever seen... his crystal clear baby blue eyes would always get soaked wet with tears.
I felt his joy. Each year. His story of my birth never changed, and the day he came to my home after my first daughter was born (Motherless), and I got to place her in his arms... I cried. He sang to her and spoke to her in German, like he used to do to me when I was a little girl.
I miss hearing his voice and his laughter. I miss his blue eyes. I miss sitting on his lap and having him read to me, even though I can read the words on the pages myself. I miss his yellow Cadillac and his tapping his hands on the steering wheel along to the sounds of Johnny Cash and June Carter.
I wonder if my children remember him. I regret that my youngest daughter has never met him - she was born after he died. I regret that he has never had a chance to meet S and see how happy she makes me. I regret that I didn't spend more time with him and tell him these things when I could have.
I wonder if he knew how loved he was.
I wonder if I am supposed to still be grieving after five years? I think it's been that long... I can't even remember and that makes me feel guilty.