I hate to say it, but it was your birthday today and I forgot. It was also the anniversary of his dying. It sucks that he died on your birthday. I always wondered about that…a way for him to get the last word…forever.
Yesterday, I had decided to remember your day and try to send a happy wish. Of course it would have to be by email, but I’m not sure I even have your information. It’s unlikely I would have said much more than that since I don’t know if you’d get it or if you’d even want to. It’s been years, many years, since we’ve exchanged anything.
I don’t really know what to think about that. Maybe I do. Maybe I think that it’s normal. That was the way things were before, so what’s the big deal about them being that way again?
The reason I thought to remember your birthday was because the day before, I went through an old disk drive the way you would go through an old album. On it were files I’d forgotten about. When I clicked on them, our last visit was opened before me in tiny thumbnails.
Among them were photos of you. Scrolling through, I found photos of you and me. I didn’t know I had them. I had to think back at them being taken. Staring at the full-sized images helped me to remember a bit better. I was happy to see them because we were happy when they were taken.
I made a copy of the file and saved it on another drive, you know, just in case. Now that I’ve seen them, I don’t want to not have them even though it’s unlikely I’ll ever look at them again.
I think you are 67 today. I’m not sure how old you are, but I think 67. The math is correct. Anyway, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday, but I forgot. I had a busy day. I worked, ran errands then defrosted my chest freezer. You completely slipped my mind, similar to all those times you were busied with gardening and I slipped yours.
It seems to run between us. The forgetting of things like birthdays, which is why I don’t feel bad not remembering yours. It’s not as though you’d expect me to remember you any more than I’d expect you to remember me. It’s been too long, too many years. It would be awkward had I actually remembered and sent you that email. The implied expectation of a return email would be uncomfortable, not to mention unwelcome.
Maybe subconsciously I didn’t forget after all. How very “cat’s in the cradle” of us.