We have somehow survived many firsts in the past year, none of them anything like what we had planned back when we were innocent. We survived the first Halloween without Genevieve, and then the first Thanksgiving and the first Christmas.
I hadn’t given much thought to Genevieve’s birthday because I didn’t see how I would live this long. Back in the fall, I was breaking my life into hour-long chunks of time because getting through an entire day seemed too much. A few times I called Greg at work and made him come home because I was so wracked with tears that I couldn’t care for Eleanor.
But slowly, with a lot of patience and understanding from a lot of people (including a therapist), I learned how to keep living. The days began to move along a bit more quickly, but Genevieve’s birthday still felt like a haze in the distance, at least until I had to flip our wall calendar to the month of July. And now the final first is upon us: Genevieve’s first birthday is Sunday.
A few friends have mentioned her birthday recently, and it always surprises me that people remember. One of the first things I learned after losing a baby was that the world doesn’t stop even for the worst of hardships. I wanted everyone else to quit having babies and quit finding new jobs and quit being so happy. They didn’t. But apparently even with all of that celebrating. they didn’t forget Genevieve, and I am touched.
We have few plans for the day, but we will be making and eating a cake. My hope is that, wherever you are, you will have some cake, too, to honor Genevieve. And I want to hear about it. So if you eat some cake or a cupcake or even some ice cream since it’s the middle of July, take a photo and send it to me. Or just send a description. I’m at sarah(dot)muthler(at)gmail(dot)com. Bonus points for a candle on top.
If you’re feeling extra generous, or if you don’t like cake (Really?), consider doing some volunteer work. And, yes, you can brag to me about that, too.