Hey Dude, It's your birthday, we're gonna party like it's your birthday, we're gonna drink Bacardi like it's your birthday, and you know, we don't give a ______ it's not your birthday! It was your birthday yesterday, though. I wouldn't say I partied, but I did make an effort to celebrate you in every way that I could.
I'm not going to lie. The day before and yesterday morning were rough. The intense heartache and sleeplessness returned. I decided to get out of bed Wednesday morning (I didn't really sleep that night), and my heart hurt so badly, I was worried I might get to actually celebrate your birthday with you. Then I heard your voice in my head.
Calm down, Killer. You used to call me Killer (because I have "guns" for arms), but only when you thought I was (dare I say) overreacting. Calm down, Killer didn't come out of your mouth too often over the last 12 years, but when it did, I paid attention and reassessed. All day yesterday, Calm down, Killer resounded in my head as if it was stuck on repeat. You knew I'd be sad to not be able to make a huge deal over your special day, but you wanted me to celebrate you, too. I did my best to maintain normal life while doing things just for you!
I started out the morning by enjoying some chai tea. I know you liked it iced, but I never understood how you drank that stuff cold! I love chai tea and drink it everyday, but I like it hot! So, hot it was! On the way to work, I listened to a few songs in Italian on the Il Divo cd. Every operatic note in a foreign language pained Dad, but he sucked it up for you and I enjoyed every minute. I sang right along, but I was also trying to see how many words I could understand given my Italian lessons from you (and my Spanish major. The languages are similar). Then I got to work and was so busy all day. I had to finish my performance appraisal. Remember when we used to pump each other up during appraisal time because we felt so silly attempting to say "I'm awesome" in professional language? I did the best to write how I awesome I was during the year. I made it sound like I was "King James great"!
My lunch consisted of some Chick-Fil-a and a serving of goldfish. I love that one serving is a whopping 55 pieces! Remember when you ate a whole bag of goldfish for lunch one day?
You had about 12 servings, Dude!!
After work, I went to the gym like I always do. I almost cancelled because I didn't think I would have energy, but then I remembered that Uncle Brian said working out makes you feel better. He's right, so I kept my appointment. Jen was super understanding and we got to do one cane walking OUTSIDE! You know I love walking outside. It's best when I try with no canes, but that's been more difficult since my surgery. One cane was a big step and so fun. You would have been excited to see me go! And, this guy approached us and decided to tell me I walk funny because I got too many flu shots --- that guy was on crack, so I said thank you, and merrily moved along.
I couldn't wait to finish the workout because I knew I had food waiting. Yeah, me and food -- in love. I wanted to celebrate you by going to the Japanese steakhouse. I pigged out there and sucked down a strawberry daiquiri (so I did have some Bacardi like the song says)! So good, Dude. And, the hibachi chef told dumb jokes while he was cooking. "What do you call a cow who visits the Vatican?" "A holy cow!" You'd tell jokes like that so he made me smile and remember you once more. For dessert, I went to the cupcake place right by my condo and got a cupcake. C'mon, you know I'd prefer to not let a day go by without a cupcake, but I especially have to indulge on your birthday! On Wednesday, the bakery gives away free cupcakes, if you know the password. I know the password, so I got mine for nada! I really do carry your spirit around with me. The last 5 months I have been such a bargain shopper! Yup, I knew you'd be proud.
The night wasn't that easy, but our friends have been so good to me that the hard times are made much easier. I know you are watching over me and Jesus is there, too. Although, I did have a thought. Since you died at 30, you will forever be a dashing young man. If I don't die til I'm ninety, you might be greeting a wrinkly old lady at heaven's gate. Keep watching over me. I want you recognize me when I see you again.
Remember me. I will always remember you.
Ti amo, Killer