Birthdays used to be special. Almost felt like a secret affair. I would always hide my excitement towards them. Not share the childlike feelings of getting presents and not to forget the cash! Even as an 8 year old, I would sometimes get £300+. I loved it – mainly down to the pay day. I do remember my mum always wanted to make a fuss. She would spend weeks planning the invites, what food to make, the plastic cups and plates – she always ensured my birthday was special. She would always be the first to wish me a happy birthday. She was my number one fan and my number one supporter. As the years went by, friends started to attend too – this was even more special.  I would literally feel like a king on the day. Never another day in the year I would have that feeling so I would milk it, totally milk it. I wasn’t spoilt, far from it. I wouldn’t get what I wanted. That was not my upbringing; my mum however would make me feel like a millionaire with the love but also the presents. Regardless of our financial situation, she would make sure I got a present or cash.

As the years went by and into my mid to late teens, the parties stopped after she got married and also started getting more ill. But even without the parties, she would make me feel special. She always wanted to do something whether that be to go for a meal or watch something together or have a meal together at home. She was my special someone and always will be. After her death in 2016, my affair with the birthday continues, I still have the child like feeling inside but I know it’s hiding. It’s not quiet the same anymore. I remember the first birthday after she passed, I invited my friends and some family over to my place. I wanted to re-create those moments. We had lots of alcohol and lots of food. It just didn’t feel the same. I was trying to mask the hurt and pain. The 2 birthdays after that, no better but the affair is not as aggressive anymore 😉 although, secretly, I want that childlike feeling to be stronger again. I want someone special to make a fuss over me again. Even at the 34, the child lives within me and I’m sure at some stage in my life, that will return. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t sit around and sulk, I do enjoy my company and do what makes me happy but isn’t it nice when someone fusses over you? For someone to appreciate and cherish you? It’s a massive void left after my mum died and I know that will not be filled but I also know that someone will enter it and create a new space. I’m certain of it. I do not rely on it. I’m totally content and happy but also know and admit I want to create new memories and share these with someone.

My dad gave me my birthday card few weeks ago when I visited him and explicitly made it clear not to open it until the day. So, as I always do with things, I left it in my car knowing I will forget about it. It worked. He called me this morning and said did you like the card; ahhhh! Yes that card. So, I promised I’d go down after breakfast and open it. When I did open it, it said happy birthday from your mum and dad. Considering they have been split up since 1990, it surprised me. I didn’t expect that. I had to blank the thoughts. I then opened it up and on the left was a lot of wording and from mum and to the right, from dad and then wording. I gulped. I couldn’t bring myself to read the mum part. I felt totally overwhelmed as her card and her love is the one, I’d choose over anything in life. I’ll put it below in the images for you to read but I guess i’m currently not ready to read it. Strange thing is, I openly talk about my past, my lessons, my hurt etc. Although it’s a standard card with some random words, just at a glance, the words “since you were born”, hit me hard. I knew I’d deal with this with tears and I was not ready for that today. This is what I have learnt over the years about myself. I know when I’m triggered emotionally and know when I need to park certain thoughts and feelings. These will and do get visited, but when I’m ready. It’s my coping mechanism, I don’t force it.

For now, I will enjoy the rest of my day eating homemade cookies (I made them) and please do enjoy some of the photos I have put here

Hope you enjoyed reading.

Thank you

Rishi

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