Birthday love

Today is my mum’s birthday. As she lies locked in her body and mind in Belfast, for the first time in probably 15 years I won’t be spending the day with her. Since I had children, she would come down to Dublin and I would take her to Avoca for lunch… we would while away a couple of hours nattering about nothing and everything, sharing each other’s lunch, and always, finishing up with a ‘goodie’ with our cuppa. Then we would come back to mine and I’d throw a birthday teaparty for her with the girls. They would make buns and they’d sing happy Birthday till they were hoarse.

Then she would help me with Poppy’s birthday party two days later, blowing up balloons, making marshmallow Top Hats, clearing up exhuberant princess spills and smiling at the mess a bunch of toddlers can make. Poppy will be four, and tomorrow’s Princess Party (very important distinction!) will be her first without Nanna. Every ‘first’ cuts like the first cut – her stroke. A body blow, painful and bruising. The memory of last year so sharp, it cuts into the wound afresh.

But. Among all the firsts, there is also a comforting constant. The next day after Poppy, it’s my Hubby’s birthday. (May is the triple wammy!). He may be the one celebrating, blowing out candles and getting birthday cuddles, but I am the one that is lucky. I am the one with the best present of all….him. He looks after me, quietly, dilligently, without fuss. I’ve noticed him staying an extra 5 minutes in the morning even though I know he is so pressured at work, just to help me out because I’m struggling. He holds my hand in the dark of the night. He tells me dinner is gorgeous even if it looks like a bowl of cat food (lentil roast is not my forte). He doesn’t take lunch so he can come home early on Monday to let me out to pilates, and never complains. He loves me. Simply and beautifully.

So I’d like to add a bit to my previous post – the sandwich filling. I am the filling. My girls and my mum are the bread. But he is the relish. He is the flavour. He is the part that makes it all worth while. Happy birthday hubby.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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5 Responses to Birthday love

  1. cath c says:

    even this brings tears. your love for your family is palpable.


  2. This post is beautiful. I do hope your hubby gets to read these precious words you have written about him. What a wonderful thing it is to share your life with a partner like that. So many of your descriptions about your Mum (and now hubby) reflect my own feelings towards my Mama and hubby… but I love the way you express your feelings, so heart felt.
    Hugs to you for today, I hope you work through it gradually and find strength in your gorgeous girls. Allow yourself time to think of all the good memories too, they are the essence of life. Hope Poppy has a lovely birthday party xo


  3. Brittany says:

    Love your posts. Even in the midst of so much sadness, you've got such a beautiful life. I love to eavesdrop on it. 🙂

    I am planning a circus-themed birthday party for the boys next month and was intrigued by the marshmellow Top Hats. Could you share how to make those?


  4. What a wonderful and moving post – thank you x


  5. What a beautiful post that started so sadly but ended with such love and affection. I've got a lump in my throat once again reading your blog. x


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