There are no gatherings the entire of my Dad's side of the family, no laughter, no boxes of black magic being handed round. No homemade birthday cards on the mantelpiece and old banners and birthday pictures we had all made years ago hanging over the hatch between the sitting room and kitchen. No hugs, love you lots or Happy Birthdays. The floor isn't covered in sparkly bright wrapping paper waiting to be ironed and reused and the side table next to her chair isn't stacked with presents - evening primrose oil goodies, racing books and a fun shaped box of tissues. No teasing, good times or warm feelings.
Today is my Gran's birthday. The first since she "fell asleep to wake with God" (I read that description in a children's book). The first 3rd December since 1920 when my Gran wasn't here on Earth with us to celebrate and be celebrated.
We can still celebrate who she was and is, safe in the knowledge that wherever she is now she is being feted and loved and celebrated. We can do it by remembering her, how she lived and what she taught us. By remembering the love and laughter, good times and bad. It's just a shame that some of us have forgotten.
I love her and I miss her more than words can adequately express. But my wish today is not that she were back here with us for I know that cannot be. My wish is that we can all of us remember who she was, how she lived, what she taught us. And that we can eventually heal our hurting hearts and come together again to remember her as she would want us too.
Happy Birthday Gran. I love you.