When Family Holidays are No Longer Holidays

May 7. Siete de Mayo. Thursday. The 127th day of 2009. The Day it hit 100° in Tucson?  May 7 is just one date and it could have hundreds of different meanings for countless people. But for me, May 7 will always jump off the calendar as being my father’s birthday. He would have been 89 today. 

Alas, my dad never saw a birthday beyond 86.

I know the date of his death, but allow that date to lapse without fanfare or significant recognition. It’s recent enough that it hasn’t etched itself into my brain the way May 7 has.  And I didn’t want to take on a whole new set of dates to remember with every passing loved one.  So, I let those days slide. But it’s too hard to let go of the birthdays. I’ve had to walk around all day knowing I can’t pick up the phone and sing to my father.

The good news is, it occurred to me when I started writing this piece that it’s also a friend’s birthday . . . the husband of Wilma Flintsone. So a big yabba-dabba-birthday to you, Fred! 

And this just in, an email with the subject: “Chantal Cozzens turns four.” Chantal is our adorable niece, and the funny thing about her is that we didn’t know her actual first name for many, many months after her birth. So, I’m not 100 percent sure today is her birthday. I know it’s in May and I know today was the day her proud Daddy sent around her most recent photos. 

Please let it be May 7. I want back my family holiday.

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