Madelynn turns one year old today. She is spunky and sassy and sweet. She blows kisses and has just discovered how to blow her nose, a feat that she portrays with true talent. She is gleeful and daring and energetic. She wants to walk down the stairs forwards instead of turning around to slide down safely. She is determined. She eats yogurt with a spoon “by herself” and any assistance is only perceived as an insult to her little, chubby hands’ abilities. She loves to sing and play the drums. Most toys are automatically turned into drum sticks ready to keep a beat.
I looked at her today and cried. She is joy bundled up in an overflowing package. She is like unwrapping a birthday gift every day. She is full of love to share beyond herself. Her dad would love to be a part of all these days called growing. My biggest unanswered birthday wish for her today is that he could be here. I am unable to comprehend that she only knew her father for a blink of five months.
This is where life seems unfair. I know that is a game Shawn would not want me to play; trying to figure out what’s fair; especially on his daughter’s birthday. He would tell me that is not a party game. I am trying to listen to his silent voice inside my head. I am trying to celebrate today without him, even if it pushes me to the edge of what I find reasonable to ask of a person. I will play along with life today because I love Maddi and because I will honor her father, but not because there is anything I find just with Shawn’s absence.