Midst of November

November 16, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone

“You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you. That's where I'll be waiting.” - Peter Pan

My birthday is exactly in the midst of November. I had just turned twenty-six at 7:28 a.m., just a little over twenty-four hours ago.

The thing I have always loved about my birthday is that it is during the season of fall. Everywhere, there are leaves turning a shade of bright red, warm and dusty browns. The trees are beginning to shed the old, so that spring can sprout the new.

Although, the evergreen trees are just as beautiful; they are a reminder of perseverance and strength - like Elijah's tree. 

The weather in November is what I call "sweater-weather" and I love sweaters. I could collect them if I had the closet space and wear them forever. I love the bulkiness, cozy look and the warmth it brings on a chilly morning. But even wearing a sweater in November - on my birthday - wasn't enough to send warmth and tenderness to my heart.

All I feel is this dissatisfaction and emptiness. And I don't feel like I am twenty-six. I don't even remember turning twenty-four; the birthday that was five months after Elijah's death. I do remember my twenty-fifth birthday because that one was the hardest. It was the birthday that I had fully realized that I was still a childless mother.

At school, I told some of my classmates that it was my birthday. Then, the whole class knew and before I knew it, everyone was singing "Happy Birthday" to me. I really tried to be happy, really really happy. It's hard to be happy when twenty-six should mean that two years before, I would have brought home my baby boy.

I should be a mom of a two-year-old little boy at twenty-six, but I'm not. I can't bring myself out of that thought. As the years go by, my birthdays will always be one of the toughest days to celebrate because Elijah isn't here. 

Nothing extraordinary was done this year. My husband and I are on a very tight, barely there budget to do anything outside of adulting. Part of adulting means "rescheduling" your birthday for a better day. But there was something that sparked a lot of love in my heart.

My sister wished me a happy birthday and this is what she said:
Happy birthday dada. The best older sister I can ask for. You are the best sister, mother, girlfriend and daughter there is. You put others before you and never give up. I love you and I’m happy to be your younger sister. I know every year is hard for you but every year will continue to make you stronger. Be the best you can be. Love yourself and be well. Happy birthday." 

Reading this over and over again makes me emotional, and not in a way that feels painful, but in a way that I felt seen, heard, and deeply appreciated. That feeling and those words are something I will never forget.

With love,
Must Read:
Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

Photo: maxpixel

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