“Happy Birthday” Dearest Andrew

The last few weeks have been quite emotional for me. I can not go into all of the details quite yet, pending some investigations. It’s always easier to talk about something once it is completed. Right now, it would be a lot of speculation so I’m going to hold off. Just remind me later that I promised details.

So, as I’m sure you have guessed by the title, today was Andrew’s birthday. He should have turned 34 today. Yes, for all of you paying attention, I’m 42. So what? Lol.

Last year, I bought him a dozen cupcakes, 12 different flavors. I bought him concert tickets to see Brantley Gilbert because Aaron Lewis was opening & Andrew LOVED Aaron Lewis. We had so much fun at that concert. But we always had fun. It was part of why I loved him.

I am a cheap laugh, a laugh whore, if you will. I can giggle at almost anything. And laughing is my drug of choice. If you make me laugh, I’m yours for life. And make me laugh he did. Constantly. If we were on the phone, I would rarely speak because he would get me laughing right away & keep telling me story after story. If we were together, he would also tell me stories or he would tickle me. But my favorite was his dancing. Oh no, not because he was good. He was horrible.

One night I was feeling a bit cranky. I don’t recall why. It’s not important. But he turned on the radio, told me to dance. We did this all the time so it wasn’t a strange suggestion. (We typically expressed our feelings through music because he was emotionally handicapped. It was safest for him this way.) So this one particular night he asked me to dance & feeling extra smarmy, I said no. I sat on the couch & pouted. So he begins to dance. A horrible, tall, awkward, white man dance that no eye should see. But I saw it. And I began to giggle. And the more I giggled, the more he danced. Finally I was cracking up. When the song was over, I said to him “you are crazy. Don’t quit your day job.” He wrapped me in his arms, asked “Did I make you laugh?” Giggling like a school girl, I answered “yes.” He replied “that’s all I wanted.” And I was twitterpated. (See Bambi)

Today was a monumental first in the line of firsts in grief. Last week was the 6 months mark and today was his birthday. His family & oldest friends went to the gravesite tonight. I was not invited. That hurt more than I expected it to, more than my brain says it should. I miss him too. I hurt & ache from his loss. But because we were a private relationship, I grieve alone. I have a few friends & family that understand (maybe they don’t & pretend very well) how deeply I still hurt. But mostly I cry alone at night because it’s easier than trying to explain to someone something they never saw. Does that even make sense? His friends & family knew about me. We had talked on speakerphone numerous times. I would “hi mom!” or “hi dad!” from across the room at least once a week. His mom said she would quit calling on Thursday evening because that had become her normal night to call but we were always together on Thursday. He teased her & told her I was getting tired of the interruption. Then he told her the truth. I was glad she called. I never felt she was an interruption. She was his mother. She was part of who he was. She created this man I loved & I loved watching him talk to her. He adored her. He wanted her life to be easy & perfect.

It breaks my heart to know how different today was from last year. For Andrew’s family & friends. For me. I understand why I wasn’t invited. I am a reminder of their loss. They don’t “know” me other than the girl he spent a lot of time with and was always on the other end of the phone. It still stings. I will not allow any animosity towards them to creep in. I’m not that girl. I will only continue to pray for them, I know some of their pain. I’m not his mother or father, brother or oldest friend. But I was with him day in & day out. I had fallen in love with that goofy horrible dancer.

Happy Birthday Baby. I pray your party in heaven was lovely. I hope the cake was red velvet. I hope you ate some bang bang shrimp. I hope you watched me work really hard today. I held myself together almost completely. Just a few tears fell before I crawled into bed. I love you still. I miss you much. Good night sweetheart.

💗

Matilda Grace

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