For my entire life, at least, my nana was not known for her flexibility, her relaxed nature, or grace when she happened to be wrong. She was stubborn, liked things done a certain way, and didn’t mind letting you know. And she was fantastic. She didn’t smile her true smile easily; you had to earn it if you wanted more than her “I’m smiling, what more do you want, take the damn picture” smile. But when you did, it lit up her face, and the room. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I won’t see it again in this life.
Today is her birthday. She would have turned 39 for the (hold on, let me do some math…) 46th time. And because the Little Man’s birthday was last month, and this is our family’s season for birthdays, when he heard about it, he had a request. In his four year old wisdom, birthdays don’t actually occur until there is some sort of sweet treat, topped with waxy pyrotechnics, a song, a wish, and blowing out of said pyrotechnics. Because my family is in town for Thanksgiving, and because I miss Nana, I obliged.
We sang a sweet version of “Happy Birthday,” while Little Man watched the flame dance on the frosted and sprinkled cupcake, for the Great Nana he was lucky enough to meet twice. And just as he inhaled and made a wish, presumably for Nana, the candle went out.
I hear you clearly Nana, it’s YOUR birthday, and you don’t need anyone blowing out candles on your behalf.