“Girl’s, make Uncle M. a card. Today’s his birthday.” These are the only gifts we give now, gifts that can’t be returned, sold, or pawned.
We arrive at my Grandma’s house to deliver the cards to my fifty something year old uncle. How has he survived this long?
He isn’t home, but Grandma is busy preparing lasagna for his birthday celebration, one he will likely miss-he always does.
My girls shred the cheese as Grandma browns the meat. Fifty something years later and she still tries. She’s been to two stores this morning to buy fresh meat and a cake. Did I mention she’s nearly 92 years old?
Uncle M. returns home long enough to ask for his gift…he expects the same gift Grandma gives all those she loves on their birthday…a crisp $100 bill. She tries to push his request off, “I’m making dinner early.” Fifty something years and she still hopes for a different outcome.
“Jessica, move your car,” Uncle M. says in an almost giddy tone letting me know that there is a $100 bill heavy in his pocket.
I move my car and return to my Grandma and my girls, lovingly preparing lasagna for a birthday celebration that was planned with hope and love but will end in disappointment. This is how most of the fifty something birthdays have gone. This is life with an addict.
The smell of lasagna fills the air and handmade birthday cards lay on the table, unnoticed. This is birthday number fifty something.
Look at what you’re missing.