It’s a birthday, an anniversary, a day to mourn, a day to celebrate, a day I hate, and a day I love, all in one.
My birthday. I get one year older. One more year of knowledge and experience. One more year of successes and failures, and one more year of living this beautiful life.
One more year without you. It was this same day, my birthday, three years ago that you were given the gift of life through organ donation. Another amazing reason to celebrate.
You were finally, after five months of chemo, and three years of being my fragile little man, given the chance to be whole, and healthy.
This was the last day I had with you, conscious, on this Earth. My birthday. Your transplant anniversary. Our last day, together. The last day I heard you say, ‘mum.’ The last day I saw you smile. The last time you gave me a kiss. The last breath you took on your own.
Each year since that birthday three years ago, I have tried to celebrate this day. I have tried to celebrate me, and the life I have been given, and the blessings in my world. I have tried to celebrate you, and that darling child who was lost whose organs became yours for eight short days.
Each year I have become a little more successful in my celebration. Each year I cry a little less and function in the world a little more.
But the day itself still levels me. It will never just be my birthday again. It will always be your ‘second chance day.’ And it will always be the last day I had you.
I will always, for the rest of my life, celebrate this day. It will forever be ‘our’ day. And it will always be bittersweet.