May 18th has always felt like a magical day. It’s always a beautiful Spring day with life bursting out all around you. The birds are singing in the trees all day long, the flowers are blooming and buzzing with the sound of bees. The streams are flowing with the music of showers that gave birth to the new life of our world. Baby animals are coming out from their homes and exploring the bright colors. It’s a day to celebrate life and love; it’s also the day I was born.

I’ve always been a big birthday person. I love celebrating people’s birthdays and my own. I’m the person telling everyone, “My birthday is coming up.” or “Tomorrow/Today is my birthday!” I plan dinners, celebrations with friends and family, going places to be together. But that has all changed. May 18th has become just another day with a little extra sadness sprinkled on.

This year I didn’t tell anyone it was my birthday. No one in my office knew, many of my friends didn’t know and most of my family didn’t know or didn’t remember. But most of all I didn’t hear from “the boys”, my brothers or Bubba, my Dad. These three were the first ones to usually say Happy Birthday to me. They would call me, text me, put it on Facebook (either all three or at least one). Birthdays were so special to us.

My brother’s have always made me feel extraordinary, especially on my birthday. Ever since I was little they did things with or for me on my birthday. All photos from growing up had me sitting on one of their laps or sitting so close we were touching especially when it came to singing and blowing out candles. They made me feel like I was the best thing to ever happen to them. I remember just loving them so much and feeling their love encompass my entire being. But I don’t feel like that anymore.

I don’t feel like my birthday is worthwhile the way I use to. I don’t feel like celebrating life and the new season of plentiful offspring scouting the environment. I don’t feel that tiny burst of excitement as I open my eyes to a new year of life and growth. I feel heartsick that I’m not sharing this day with the people I love the most. My soul is cheerless as I move throughout my day. The few birthday wishes I receive are recognized but irrelevant.

May 18th, just another day in the world.