My birthday is the day after my Mums.
I loved this growing up, loved hearing the story of how my Mum went into labour on her birthday. How my Dad was annoyed at her, when her waters broke in their bedroom, all over their newly laid bedroom carpet as he thought she'd peed herself.
The story of how it was so hot the day I was born, that the Doctor in charge of my birth gave my Mum ice-cream whilst she was in labour, because he'd had some and she was jealous.
The story of how my Mum had been drinking Cider and black the day before to celebrate her birthday, how she was told to drink Guinness to replace her lost iron after I was born.
The story of how the day after I was registered, the name of the page 3 stunner was the same name as mine and they weren't sure if this was a good or bad omen.
I felt having my birthday the day after my Mum's made me and her more connected. As a child, we'd often go out for a meal on her birthday (always a Chinese), but we'd stay out late so that the celebration could last two days. I'd celebrate on her's and she'd celebrate on mine.
We shared. We were connected.
Years later, when I was lucky enough to be a stay at home Mum, we would meet up each day for the week preceding our birthdays.
We'd plan something special for each day, lunch out, a walk and a picnic, clothes shopping, accessories shopping, haircuts, a visit to the theatre or the cinema, Most years we'd buy something the same. We had matching handbags, shoes, tops, cardigans, plants, bouquets of flower
Of course, growing up was not all roses and sunshine but we tend to gloss over those painful memories, don't we? My Mum and I were so similar, that it was painful at times. We were both stubborn, both convinced that we were always right, both far too intelligent for our own good, both needed the last word... but when I had grown up, become more comfortable in my own skin that's when we found our new relationship blooming, where we discovered how to be friends.
Today is her birthday.
Today is the first time we will celebrate her birthday without her being physically here.
Today my family and I are going to visit with my sister and her family, we're going to eat cake and celebrate. We're going to be joyful about the times we got to spend together, not sad over what we have lost.