I am going to address the issue of my twenty-first birthday and celebrating it. The fact is that I do not want it celebrated at all. Acknowledged that I have aged, sure but happy birthday wishes? No.
I have heard the “well, you only turn twenty-one once,” and my immediate thought is that goes for every age, Sherlock. Twenty-one isn’t special. It’s another year gone by. There is nothing to celebrate.
I am getting a few gifts from my parents because they are things that I have wanted for several years, but they understand, to a degree, my preference to not celebrate.
My favorite birthdays are the time my mom made me clean my room before wishing me happy birthday (seriously, it is) and when my sister left me alone in her apartment for the day. I am going to my favorite summertime place on my birthday with books and a set of headphones.
It took me almost a month to go to Button’s grave. I had convinced myself that I was mostly recovered but seeing that rosebush and how the dirt was still fresh brought me to my knees. I had been wondering why my health was getting worse and my answer came in tears. Grief.
I have heard even a few of my friends say about their pets “It’s just a dog/cat” and it disgusts me. That “just a pet” would die for you. It watches over you at night. It goes to you when you weep. What does it ask for in return? Very, very little. My family has never seen our pets as just pets but members of the family. They are our babies and we hurt when they hurt. That is where I failed mine. I failed Buttons.
You see, Buttons was very determined to explore the porch area but no farther and for the past couple of years the coyotes, which we had left alone, had become bold. One in particular. That one chased Buttons from the front door and around the house. No one in the house saw this happen but the evidence was everywhere.
My mother found him in a coyote den, and to be honest, when I saw him wrapped in that brown satin I do not think I have ever cried so loudly or screamed. I don’t remember hearing screaming actually. I didn’t want to look at him. I didn’t want to see him hurt. I did not want to think of how afraid he must of been.
When we did have to bury him, I did have to hold him and in that moment I wanted to be alone. I wanted to say I’m sorry, sweetheart. I am so sorry I couldn’t be what scared your fears away. I am sorry I wasn’t there. I am so sorry you were afraid. I have not said those words to anyone. I have thought them over and over again. It’s the images of him being afraid and alone that hurt the most. People talk about anger being a further step in the process of grief but the anger I have is towards myself but I’m sorry goes through my mind the most.