The Gift that Keeps Giving


Dear Ms. Feverfew:

I have four sisters. Six brothers. Two step-sisters. Three step-brothers. Nine sisters-in-law. Six brothers-in-laws.  I have a mother-in-law. A new and improved dad. A mom. That means I have 34 people with whom I have some sort of familial relationship.

Guess how many of them emailed, texted, called, tweeted, facebooked, or otherwise acknowledged yesterday was my birthday?

That would be zero. Nada. Zilch.

Now, I am not the sort to make a big deal out of my birthday – I don’t have it listed on Facebook or any other social networking sight as it merely serves as a painful reminder of all I have not done right and have not accomplished. But….

It would have been nice to have had at least one person other than my husband and two sons acknowledge I am alive.

I mean,  I can totally understand the 300+ people at the Trunk-or-Treat at church last night not knowing it was my birthday. I can accept the fact my Visiting Teachers walked right past me several times on the way to the food tables and didn’t even acknowledge me because I am still new in the ward, and like I said, I don’t advertise my birthday far and wide. But my family? My mom? Am I really that forgettable of a person?

I tried not to complain about it throughout the day, but as the day wore on, my resolve wore down. At about 8:30 last night, I locked myself in the bathroom, filled the tub until is was nearly overflowing, sank into it neck deep, and had myself a good long cry. I didn’t come out until the water was cool and I was starting to shiver.

I had hoped a scalding hot bath, a good cry, and morning would bring an attitude adjustment and a new perspective, but it hasn’t. I don’t remember every having such an unpleasant birthday. And to top it all off, for some stupid reason, this is the first year it *really* sank deep into my soul and my psyche: You didn’t know it was my birthday, either.

Adoption, the gift that keeps giving.

M.

P.S. Edited on 10/27 to add: My mom didn’t forget after all. I received a very lovely, very sweet birthday card from her and my New and Improved Dad in the mail today.  I also had a sister post something on my Facebook account early this morning, remarking how she knows my birthday is sometime around this time of year, but couldn’t remember what day because there are so many of us. And she is right, there are a lot of us.

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25 thoughts on “The Gift that Keeps Giving

  1. YOU AND I ARE BIRTHDAY BUDDIES???? Happy belated birthday!

    People suck. This was pretty clear yesterday, for you and for me. I like focusing on other people’s birthdays better. Less disappointment…

  2. i am so sorry that your family did not acknowledge your birthday yesterday….that is thoughtless of them…..Your birthday is worthy of being remembered! So, while this probably has little real impact on making you feel better, I want to say, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO YOU! You are a person to be celebrated for who you are and what you bring to the world. ((HUGS))

    Sara

    • Thank you, Sara. I am mostly over it at this point. All in all, it has been an excellent reminder to *not* forget others’ birthdays, even if all I do is send them a quick message on Facebook, because dang it – we are ALL important.

  3. Happy Belated Birthday! I’m sorry it was a crap day.

    And personally, I refer to Adoption as “The gift that keeps on taking.” I’m sorry for that as well.

    Denise

  4. Happy Belated Birthday!! I’m sorry that you didn’t hear from your family. Like Sara said, it’s their thoughtlessness, not a reflection of you.

    BTW, we’re a week apart. Mine’s next Weds.

    Laurie

  5. Happy Birthday to you! Mine was Sunday, and yes, there was adoption related fallout and sting. (Thanks for letting me whine a little on your blog)

  6. I didn’t realize yesterday was your birthday. Happy belated, girlfriend. You are such a great addition to my life! Im sorry no one acknowledged your day. Sending you hugs!!

    • Thanks, Linda. Like I said – I don’t generally broadcast it because I am not all that comfortable with other people “celebrating” me when I struggle so much with my own self worth. I don’t expect others to remember but my sisters that I grew up with? Hello!!!!

  7. Happy belated birthday! I am so sorry it was such a crumby day 😦 Your birthday is the day after my sisters so I will always remember!
    I hope next year your birthday is wonderful.

    p.s. you are so far from forgettable.

    • Thank you so much, Susie. A bit of chocolate therapy and giggle like mad at Princess P. walking around the house in some of my shoes has helped lift my moods tremendously.

    • Thank you so very much. Yesterday certainly was a learning experience for me and isn’t that what life is about? I learned I need to take of myself and not wait for any of my 34 family members to remember I am somebody worth acknowledging.

    • Yes, Von! Next year I turn 40 (eek – I can remember when my MOM turned 40 and now I am going to be that age, too????). At any rate, I will do a much better job at celebrating the fact I am alive next year.

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