I'm not concerned with the age. 30 doesn't scare me or worry me. Age is just a number. I don't care about it. It's more that I'm celebrating my first birthday without Rick...a milestone birthday at that...and I'm thinking about how different my life is at thirty from what I imagined.
Physically, I feel 20. Mentally, I feel 80. So the fact that I am 30 doesn't really phase me. It's just another number. That said, birthdays have always been a time of contemplation for me. I reflect. I make goals. I look at my history. I ponder.
So here I am, another year down. Another year beginning. 10 years ago, when I was 20, if I pictured 30 I never imagined I would be lonely, childless, and a widow. It's hard to come to terms with such a weird existence. It's hard to contend with "thirty" when so much of my life has been altered.
Just a few weeks after Rick's death, I found a birthday card he bought for me months in advance. It was in the top drawer of his desk, resting in the envelope, chosen with care. I read it then, but after that I saved it, telling myself I wouldn't look at it again until my birthday.
This morning, I woke up alone as usual and walked downstairs to my card from my husband. I read it with tears, but something inside felt so good to hear him wish me a happy birthday.
I felt very loved today. My co-workers definitely brightened my morning. I left my house kind of melancholy and was cheered up more and more as the day wore on. I work with good people. I received cards and gift and delicious desserts. By the time I left work, I was smiling and my work buddies Stacy and Ashlee enjoyed some drinks and appetizers with me before I went home with my momma. My mom left me to blog and snuggle my kitties. Tumbler's been lying on me for a while now...
About 200 people have wished me a happy birthday on Facebook. I've gotten messages and phone calls all day too. I'm definitely lucky and loved.
It was the kind of day I'd love to come home and tell Rick about... but honest-to-god, if I listen closely, I think I can hear him chuckle. I can actually hear his familiar voice as he says what he always said: "Everyone loves you, Arielle."