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Overall, I had a good day.  There were ups and downs, tears and laughs, but overall it was a good day.  A good friend had the gumption to provide me with an overnight decoration party, hanging streamers on the front of my house and a blow-up birthday cake on my deck, so that was a pretty nice thing to wake up to.  Later I had an excellent lunch that leaves me still full, five hours later, but mostly because of the EPIC dessert I was treated to, in the form of (literally) about three gallons of ice cream, topped and loaded with all sorts of yumminess.  I have better friends than you, and there’s no arguing that point.

Since Dawn passed, I’ve gotten more support than I ever could’ve imagined, and also have gotten closer to many more people than I ever could’ve imagined.  Sometimes it’s a little weird to talk about the friends I’ve made online with people who aren’t online so much, but that’s where my life has taken me, and I’m grateful for that.  This was reflected today in the innumerable birthday wishes I received on Twitter and Facebook and via text message, and I honestly can’t thank each of you individually.  I hope you know I appreciate every single one and I’m honestly still working my way through reading them all.  It’s been a good day, but an emotional day, and there’s only so much I can do in one sitting.  I know you all understand.

I would, however, like to thank some of you specifically, and if you aren’t recognized here, please don’t see it as a slight in any way.  I love you all very much.  Know that.

Leah, Kim and Marcia – I don’t know how I’d get through all this and be able to survive in this shitty club without you.  I really don’t know.  You’ve made me comfortable in my grief and my mourning, and for that I cannot ever repay you.  I am always always always here for you, and I hope that each day we have in our new lives is better than the day before but not as good as the days to come.  You are what everyone should strive to be.  I hope I can continue with the grace and confidence you exude every single day.

Kimberly – You’ve found ways to keep me grounded and you’ve looked out for me every step of the way without clipping my wings.  You were Dawn’s best friend and I’m happy you’re mine now.  I still struggle a bit with sharing, but know that it’s because of me, not you.  I’m getting better.  Thank you for coming over Friday and sharing some paper towel.  Kleenex is at the top of the grocery list.

K – you know who you are.  I’ve shared with you what you’ve meant to me this past few weeks.  Happiness.

Avitable – You made me a pic!  I’m in the big time now.  I always have a cigar here.

Mersadeez – Trust yourself.  You’re gonna do great things.  You just have to believe it.

Todd – Some day I’ll get to the PNW and share a beer.  It’ll be a chip in the block of gratitude I owe you.  Thank you.

The OTBL – You folks are my sound board.  I had a hard time feeling like I fit in, but you are the brothers (and brother’s wife) I never had.

T – I can’t even start with you.  You understand.  You belong at the top of this list.

Liv – Promise you’ll always be honest.  You can’t push me away.  I hope you believe that.

Joey – There’s always been something, for many many years.  You’re in my thoughts quite often.  I’ve never told you that.  I want you to know that.

Shelly, Meg, Beth, Matt, et al – Every beer in every driveway is a great one.  You all have been awesome for me.  I can never repay you all.  I love you all very much.

Renae – You and your family are in my thoughts every single day.  I hope you find the peace and enjoyment you deserve.

Katie Mac – I’m bringing like 12 cameras to your wedding.  :)

Tasha – I love making you laugh.

Shine – Man, oh man, I don’t know where to start.  I know you hurt as much as anyone.  I wish I could help you along that path of recovery.  If I find a way, I’ll share with you first.

Norm – you still owe me for Bonnie Bernstein

Shannon – you’re welcome to continue to give me shit

S – We’re both very broken, and we both know that.  That’s the first step back.  Don’t ever leave me, and please know that when I push you, I push you because I love you.  I’m so happy you came back in my life.

Dominick – A manly hug and cheers to you.  I know I’m always welcome in your family, and that means the most to me.

Karen – I know I haven’t reached out much but I know you’re always there.  Someday I’ll get down in your neck of the woods, I promise it.

And to my family – It’s been four months of pain, and years of shattered hope before that.  Please find strength in that pain.  Please don’t pass blame.  We forgive and we move on, but we never forget.  Find your sanctuary, whatever it may be.  We all need help and we need to accept that we may not have the strength to help each other.  Just stay strong.  Dawn wouldn’t accept anything less.  I love you all.

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6 comments

  1. Diana says:

    Happy Birthday, old man. I suck at the emotional stuff, but want you to know your strength and grace blows me away every single day. Much love to you and the boys.

  2. Karen says:

    Happy birthday hon. I hope it was (and it sounds like it was!) fantastical. Love you.

  3. Terry says:

    it’s great knowing you have a wonderful supporting network.
    Best wishes

  4. Sam Millus says:

    Well I’m glad you had a good birthday but seriously? I don’t get a shout out?!? Whatever….asshole;) just kidding:) love you long time! Come visit us anytime! We will throw your ass on a snowboard and get you down a hill!! Xo
    Sam

  5. Michellr says:

    Dude. You are comic relief in my timeline and we clearly have followed the same path in musical tastes…at least up until, oh, 1998 or so. Ha! Anyway, we don’t have the kind of friendship you have with the other folks you mentioned (which is totally OK) and I haven’t said a whole lot, but I think of you and your family and the road you are traveling often, because I do identify somewhat with it. I think you are doing at least as well as I could in the circumstances…probably better…and I worry about how tenuous the thread is that binds my family. I know it could snap at any time. You, sir, are an inspiration to those of us who have not had to walk that road but live in constant fear we will. Happy birthday, and I will be sure to raise a glass or two to you this week while we are JEEPING in COLORADO! Take that, jerky! 😉

  6. califmom says:

    You got this, even when you feel like you don’t. I promise. Making mistakes is how we learn, and grieving is not a linear process. Also, you are totally allowed to be happy and sad at the same time. (True story, bro.)

    <3

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