Happy Birthday, Tony

Feathery snowflakes on Tony’s birthday, they look like soft kisses. Oh how I miss him.

Wiped a single tear, followed then by a half-smile of amusement.
I do miss him. But not all day every day. Part of the missing is what we once had, the comfort of routines, income, and being a partner. Ahh, but that was then and this is now. The ambushes of emotion aren’t so frequent anymore, and they pass quickly. Three years been a time of growth for me – reinventing myself and finding new beginnings. It’s a good thing there’s no Report Card of any kind though, my grades still wouldn’t look commendable

And if there were a teacher evaluating my progress? I bet the remarks would be the same as always. “Sherry is struggling with her lessons. Her progress is unremarkable. She is pleasant and friendly but reluctant to join in with others. Very respectful and polite.”

Slamming my palm on the desktop, I shook my head. Same old, same old. Except for one thing; I’m not my old self. I’m a newer edition. Like the numbers on the Health Card, they have a version code. Ha, now here’s a thought. “What letter would designate today’s description of me? Maybe E to reflect eagerness, or T for tenacity; perhaps D for determined, I for improving, or even C for courageous.” It’s all a jumble, still.

And what about an Expiry Date? Has my “Best Before” come and gone? The face that stares back at me from the mirror is not fresh or youthful anymore, it’s like a roadmap. Maybe all those lines are souvenirs of where I’ve been.

I smoothed the hair away from my forehead, peering closer. My eyes still look bright enough, and my complexion is clear of zits or bumps. That’s a good thing.
Every time Tony developed a lump, he called it “dryrot.” Well, I’m having none of that!
Losing weight is a good thing, but now my throat and neck look looser – hey! The double chin has disappeared. Where to I wonder…the forces of gravity perhaps.
Stretching my lips tight in a sort of grimace, I consciously will my mouth into a smile, of sorts. There, that’s better. Tony always did love my smile. I keep misplacing it though.
And what about my hair? Lots of it, clearly silver, not grey. A good cut, yes. But not much shine. Fistfuls of it, but nobody to grasp it with tenderness.
Still, it could be worse.

Being alone isn’t all that bad, it just takes getting used to. So, today being your birthday is the start of a new year. And time for a resolution, one I can complete.
“I will smile more, laugh more, and be more cheerful, whether I’m inside, out, alone, or with friends.”
“Happy Birthday, Tony.”