Bramble On: Just another Dec. 16
When I first heard my phone buzzing on Tuesday morning I thought it was my alarm. I picked it up and half-mindedly I read the word, “Home” on the screen.
For a few seconds I closed my eyes and went back to sleep before I realized it wasn’t the alarm.
When I finally noticed it was a call from my parents, the nerves began to build up and a lot of negative thoughts came to mind. My parents never call me early in the morning.
“Oh, what now?” I thought as my stomach turned. The first person I thought about was my grandfather. He has been struggling with health issues for the past two years and, lately, when my parents call at unusual times, it’s about him.
For a few seconds, as I prepared myself for bad news, I procrastinated answering the call and just listened to the buzzing sound against my pillow as I nervously watched the glowing light on the screen of my phone. I stared at the phone, hoping it would stop ringing, that the person on the other end would realize they dialed the wrong number and any bad news would fade before I heard them.
“Hello,” I answered. “Hello!”
“Happy birthday!” my mom said.
I was under the covers for a couple of seconds, still half asleep, as I tried to understand what was happening.
“Happy birthday!” she said again.
All fear then melted away but confusion remained.
“Right, it’s my birthday,” I responded. “Thank you.”
I rubbed my eyes and tried to organize the last few seconds in a way that made sense.
I thought, briefly, about the day ahead of me. Of how it would still be a sleepy morning, how I would still have to go to work, how the rest of the world and the things happening in it don’t care that it just so happens that on the same calendar day 27 years ago I was born. As a reporter, the news of the day won’t care that it’s my birthday.
I listened to my parents as they wished me a happy birthday and I clung to the warmth under the covers and wished that I felt about my birthday like I did when I was a child. I tried to ignore the idea that the only birthdays that will matter, on their own merit, from now on, will happen every 10 years.
My mom wished me a wonderful day and hung up. I took one more call before I left the warmth and comfort of my bed.
“It will be a winter wonderland on your birthday,” my friend said.
As I readied myself to step out into the world on my 27th Dec. 16, I laughed at the idea of forgetting my birthday. I didn’t feel like I did when I was a child, but I did begin to feel like the day was special.
I stepped into the snow and looked at the ground and my car and everything outside covered in white.
“Well, at least Tahoe dressed up for my birthday,” I thought.