April 14...My Birthday
This is the first birthday I have celebrated without Phil since I turned 26 years old. Today, I turned 47. Twenty birthdays with him, and today, without.
I thought it wouldn't be so bad, but it was. All I could think about was all the other years. The very first year was the first time we spoke on the phone. We met on the Internet a few weeks earlier in 1999, and we had already told each other we loved each other on April 5, 1999. He thought a phone call would be a cool birthday present, and it sure was! I remember he was worried I wouldn't like his voice because he thought it was weird. I have no idea what he was talking about because as soon as I heard it, I melted. I fell in love with him all over again. I had a voice to go with the words on the screen and the picture he emailed to me.
We were worried that we wouldn't like each other after we talked on the phone.
We worried that we would be uncomfortable, but the $1,200 phone bill he had the next month proved otherwise. There were nights we fell asleep on the phone talking to each other. He was two hours ahead of me, too, so more often than not, it was 4 a.m. for him when we would finally hang up. One night, we spent a few hours just going through the dictionary finding new words and their definitions! A waste of money but definitely not time.
Today, I received calls, texts, Facebook messenger messages and video calls from the grandkids, messages to my timeline and so much more in the way of birthday wishes. For all of those, though, the one I wanted to hear was the only one I couldn't hear. He was always the first one to tell me, usually at midnight since we were up at that time. If we weren't awake, he would make sure to tell me first thing in the morning. I can't say he was the best at spoiling me with presents and gifts and flowers and all that, but what he would do is make sure that all day he was showering me with attention by just making sure I was comfortable, happy, and loved.
Today, I spent the day alone as we are still under quarantine for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Missouri peak isn't expected for another week or two so I don't expect we will be out of this lockup situation for another two to three weeks, and it is hard. Usually, I see my grandkids more and they are what have kept me going this whole time. I haven't seen many people at all, including friends, so today has been extra lonely.
I wanted to hear his voice. I wanted his hug and kiss! I wanted him to tell me Happy Birthday! I know I can't have that anymore, but that doesn't mean I can't still miss it. I'll always miss it. Every day I miss so much about him. Even that doesn't mean I don't want to move on with my life, but it is so hard to do it alone. It is so hard to imagine all the plans we had, growing old together, the jokes we had about chasing each other around the house in with our walkers and wheelchairs, one of us blind and the other deaf, not knowing what is going on but still trying to catch each other and annoy the hell out of each other.
So much we talked about! I still want to do all those things, and I just keep it in my mind that I live for both of us. Sometimes, I still hear the whispers and know he's near me. At one point, when the crying started out of nowhere today, I heard, "You're going to be okay. I'm right here with you. You're okay." In those moments, I feel a little bit more peaceful, but yet, it also makes me miss him so much more.
I knew I'd have hard days ahead, even after feeling like I can conquer the world. I haven't even reached the hardest day yet. I think that will be our anniversary. On Tuesday, May 5, we would have been married for 19 years. Everyone always asks, "Why did you get married on Cinco de Mayo?"
The reason? It was the next Saturday that was one year and one week from the night he proposed to me. Long story. I'll go into that on another blog. But, ghost Phil will argue it with me because he does not believe me about date of the night he proposed. One thing he never learned in all those years together is never to argue with my memory (even if I'm wrong!).
So Birthday #1 done without him. Maybe next year, when I turn 48, everything will be different. I'd like to think it will be at least a little better. I hope like hell we are out of quarantine because if not, I am fairly certain I will be utterly insane by then. If you see my blogs getting progressively more nonsensical, it might be time to call in a professional and have them extract me from my home.
Until then, I shall write from my beloved recliner with the broken handle (until I finally get around to fixing it) and hopefully not go insane.