I was dreading my first birthday without my daughter, and I knew that if I didn’t mark it differently it would be unbearable.
The days leading up to it are grim. My body begins aching all over, so much so that I worry I am going back to how I was at the start. Then I remember that the body has its own cellular memory. It forgets nothing.
My body knows full well that my birthday is approaching. On the day itself, I am relieved to wake up feeling better.
I leave the house before the postman comes, knowing there be no card from you, and then drive to Bath. Linda and I have lunch sitting outside on the pavement. It is such a different world to where I live, and I am grateful for the contrast.
We watch people going by, then huge black clouds begin gathering overhead. A massive storm is approaching. Minutes later, sheets of rain begin deluging down and we run shrieking like children into the nearby tea house.
What a splendid building it is. It is years since I was last here. Relieved to be inside, we have tea like regular tourists, enjoying musicians playing the cello, the piano and the violin.
During an interval, Linda goes over to chat with them. Minutes later, and with huge grins on their faces, they strike up the tune of Happy Birthday. Much to my surprise, my first birthday without my daughter had been wonderful. Thank you, Linda.
Read more from Patsy Freeman at https://www.opentohope.com/dreaming-about-my-daughter/
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