Another Birthday Without Her: A Letter to my Mother on my Birthday

March 5, 2019

Another year, another birthday without my mom. To be honest, if my daughter hadn’t of reminded me that my birthday was coming up, I probably would have forgotten. I don’t look forward to them anymore. Sure, I’m glad to be alive, but you see, celebrations were my mother’s thing. She was good at them. She had a special way of making you feel so unique, so loved, and so celebrated. Truth is, she did this every day, not just birthdays.

Birthdays before my mother died were about counting the candles on the birthday cake. Birthdays after my mom died are spent counting how many birthdays it’s been without her. That number is 2. Two birthdays without her here.

Today, on my birthday, the only present I want is another day with her. Just one more day. But no amount of wishes on a birthday cake can make that happen. So, I’ll do what she always told me to do. I’ll write. I’ll write to her.

To my Mother on my Birthday:

Hi, Mom! Today is my birthday, but you already know that. Without you, celebrating just doesn’t seem right. I need you. Not just today, but always.

Your absence changes things. It makes things less beautiful and more heartbreaking. Today, I sit here thinking about this exact day 37 years ago. It was the day you became a mother. It was the day you gave birth to me. Did you realize on this day how amazing you’d be? Did you realize that you were about to become the best mother this world has to offer?

You probably didn’t realize that in the moment you gave birth to me you became so much more than a mother. You became an inspiration. You became a hero. I grew up wanting to be you. I admired everything about you. To this day, I’m still inspired by your unconditional love, your unwavering support, and your dedication to being the best mother any kid could ask for. I’ll never stop wanting to be just like you.

37 years ago our journey began. I became your daughter and the luckiest girl in the world. Being your daughter was a blessing. It was my first gift and the best gift. If I have to celebrate my birthday without you, I’ll celebrate this, this is day I met you.

Instead of counting how many candles I’ve blown out without you here, I’ll celebrate that on this very day, I met you. My life will be forever blessed because of that fact. It’s easy to celebrate you.

So when I blow out my candles, instead of making a wish, I’ll be celebrating the moment you and I met, instead of dwelling on the fact that you’re not here.

I miss you every second of every day. Love you, Mom! Always.

xox, Chels


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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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