Every January 18, as soon as I wake up, I’m immediately aware that it’s my dad’s birthday. My bleary, sleep-encrusted eyes glance at his joyful face, smiling at me from the photo atop my chest of drawers.
“I miss you,” I say, sometimes as a whisper aloud, sometimes as just a thought in my head, “Happy Birthday.”
At some point in the day every January 26, usually when I’m writing a check or have some other cause to glance at the date, I remember that it is Dan R’s birthday.
I have only seen Dan a handful of times in the last 30 years – at a couple of high school reunions, at his dad’s funeral, during an overnight visit to his home in upstate New York on my way home from a biking vacation in Vermont…
But I’ve remembered his birthday every year since we met on the Bob-lo boat in 9th grade.
I remembered it even before facebook started reminding me. I sometimes interact with his wife on facebook, but I have absolutely no interaction with him except to write, “Happy Birthday old friend,” (double entendre) on his wall every January 26.
Every February 2 I wish my childhood friend, Patty Holden, a happy birthday. “Happy Birthday Patty,” I say into the void. Haven’t seen her in at least 28 years but I remember her day without fail.
This morning, as I was doing the dishes I should have done last night, I thought of the guy I dated in college. I think of him every July 31.
I understand why I always remember my dad, who’s been celebrating his birthdays in heaven these last 20 years, but I wonder why it is that I remember the other three.
Of course I always remember the birthdays of my sisters and my mom, and I think of my daughter and the hub all day long on their birthdays.
And I occasionally remember the birthdays of other old friends and boyfriends whom I haven’t seen in many years, but why is it that I remember those three every year without fail?
Anyway, Happy Birthday Ron Sobel.