Two years ago today, at 5:30pm, I spoke the last two words you would ever hear. I wish I could say they were something amazing and monumental, but it was probably something like “Okay, see ya later”. Little did I know, I’d be forever grateful that I left my office early that Friday afternoon. I’m so happy that I got to see you for those few, short, fleeting moments in that afternoon. I think of it often, actually.
If I thought the first year without you went by quickly, the second year has passed in the blink of an eye. I’m happy to report that I have thought of you for 730 straight days. [Insert discussion about how there’s a 1/4 of a day extra each year that we ignore, which is why we have a leap year, so I’m sure my 730 day figure is wrong]. Unfortunately, you’re not here to sprout that meaningless dinner conversation about mathematics that I miss so much. Actually we don’t really sit around the dinner table all that much anymore. We don’t have anyone demanding sausages from us, so we eat when we feel like it.
I’d sit here and give you a full report of all the things that happened in this past year, but for some reason now more than ever, I think you already know. Sometimes, I think you’re controlling some of it. Example: That October snowstorm we just had? Thank you. I really think that you saw that I was having a terrible week, and wanted to give me what always makes me happy: SNOW! Then I gave several others a video of my running around the house barefoot like the crazies we are. Win-Win.
I may or may not have had a small meltdown when we had to take your Elk off the wall [boy was that a bitch without you, fyi] to re-paint the hallway [We could’ve totally used your help painting that freaking hallway, by the way]. Luckily, we’ll be putting Elkie back to his place soon. We just don’t have you around to do it, and for some reason, it takes several of us to coordinate what you did on your own. In your socks. On your tiptoes.
Uncle Pius recently wore your Yankee hat in a magazine article which brought a tear of pride to my eye. He looks so much like you it’s crazy.
He’s turning 60 this year, and having a B-I-G party. I can’t wait to go. I always feel so at home there, and so connected to you. 2011 was THE FIRST YEAR OF MY LIFE that I didn’t make it to Switzerland to visit at some point. I’m really going to try not to let that happen again.
Mom threw me a surprise birthday party. Well, I knew of the party, but not some of the guests. No car this time (still driving the one from my last birthday with you, by the way. And no, I haven’t replaced the bumper yet…), but lots of friends I wasn’t expecting. It was really lovely.
Mom also surprised me by buying a new washer and dryer a few weeks back. She was so excited she couldn’t wait for me to “stumble” upon them. She tricked me into going back there to look at the vacuum and then I saw them! I can’t believe we bought a new appliances without you and your constant price scrutiny and penny pinching. BUT I AM SERIOUSLY IN LOVE WITH THEM. I know it’s not healthy, but I can’t help it, Dad. They’re beautiful.
I constantly see people who look or act like you on the street. Same shoes, same pants, same walk, same mustache… always something. Relax, NO ONE has your eyebrows. I think only Kevin will be able to replicate those, thanks to genetics.
This year’s Thanksgiving is planned to be another epic one. I’m going to miss your cheesy “pre-dinner” toast that somehow managed to include politics. And simultaneously something embarrassing.
John is still the only real hunter in my life, and don’t worry, he had a successful bow season so there will be no shortage of venison cutlets in my life. I know that’s probably a major concern for you. He showed me his new hunting rifle the other day - which apparently, through Christmas and birthdays, I seemed to have funded like 40% of. I was proudly pointing out to Mom all the parts I’d purchased. She wasn’t super interested [I know, SHOCKING!].
I still don’t feel right about going to rifle matches without you. I know you didn’t come to them all, but not being able to call you at the end of it and give my full report just makes the whole thing feel wrong.
Mom has “the usuals” planned to come by your spot in the woods on Sunday for cocktails and snacks, which is becoming a yearly thing. I’m totally digging it.
Joan and I are going to see Taylor Swift on Monday which I still kind of can’t believe. Joan amazingly got tickets. I know it’s going to be awesome, and I bet you’d like it.
Work moved to NYC in the last year, and just like you and I always hoped for together, I’m officially working in The City every day. I love it. I mean LOVE it. I get to work in the city, and still work for Cara. It’s really, really great.
We were recently at a relative of Johns’ having lunch, and I noticed they had a cracked tile in their floor. Then I noticed some loose tiles. Then I turned into YOUR DAUGHTER and came up with a plan with John about how to fix the problem. Sometimes, people look at me funny when I talk about renovations. Like, “But, you’re… a girl…”. They can’t believe it when I tell them how many floors I was involved in installing with you. Needless to say, your handiness has been passed down.
I can’t really think of much else to tell you that you don’t already know. Life seems to be getting harder as I get older, and sometimes I just want to rewind to the times when you were around, and things were easy. But, I know you’d tell me not to do that, and to stay strong and carry on. So I will.
I miss you so much sometimes it hurts.
I love you with all that I am. Give my loved ones who are with you a kiss for me, please.
Always your baby,
You may or may not know this, but I currently share my actual birthday with a ton of people:
1. Helen Keller
2. Khloe Kardashian
3. Ed Westwick
3. My Aunt Romy
4. My Friend Jamie
5. Ashley, a girl I went to college with
6. Cecily, the daughter of a girl I met in college
7. A girl in my new office
8. Tobey Maguire
9. H. Ross Perot
So, I don’t know ALL of the above people, but I definitely know an unusual amount of people with the same birthday.
In honor of celebrating a multiple birthday in my office, I made these cake pops which are BY FAR the best ones I’ve made so far. I think I’m finally figuring out how to not make it a complete freaking hyperventilating disaster. Not only did these come out the nicest, but it was by far the easiest processes I’ve ever had.
I made just enough for the people in my office. I don’t want them getting greedy.
Don’t you just love ‘em? (The answer is YES).
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVERYONE!
Here’s how it all went down:
Mom: “I’m throwing you a BBQ for your birthday on the 25th.”
Me: “Oh, okay. But what if I don’t want a party?”
Mom: “Too bad.”
Mom: “I’m just having the family. But you can invite anyone else you want.”
Here’s the deal: 99% of my friends live over 1 hour away. So, I invited a few people who are close by, who had excuses and other plans. LITTLE DID I KNOW, my mother invited all my favorite people and they SURPRISED ME! Joan was apparently in cahoots with planning the whole thing. She had told me she had water rafting tickets but SOLD THEM SO SHE COULD COME TO MY PARTY. She must have me confused with a celebrity. Suzanne and Chris came all the way from Maryland (and spend the entire day in the Hudson Valley laying low and not tweeting their location to avoid running into me). My other friends Alison and Chris (WHO I MAY OR MAY NOT BE OBSESSED WITH) came too. And a ton of family and other people I love were there too.
Apparently Joan was in charge of desserts (among other things) and was told that I INSISTED on making my own cake, which took a job away from her. WHOOPSIE! She did make some amazing cakes in a jar that I am SO GLAD there are leftovers of.
I made this cake TWICE. That’s right, you heard me. (I forgot to put the eggs in the first time. OOPS.) It was so worth it making it the second time though, it tasted SO MUCH BETTER. I can’t believe what a difference a couple of eggs makes! (When I said this initially, JT said “Well, you know… they do list the ingredients in the recipe for a reason…”).
(Cake: Carrot cake with cannoli filling and whipped cream icing.)
Just another angle so your mouth can keep watering…
There aren’t really words to express how loved I feel for all the sacrifices everyone made to come to my party. It’s really, really wonderful to have such great friends around. I really think they should be CIA operatives for the sheer level of sneakiness and deception that was involved. But you successfully pulled off the surprise, you bastards.
Since Chris and Suz came from so far, we spent a large portion of Sunday together as well. We had brunch, we walked over the Hudson River, and JT and I taught them a new card game. A glorious day.
Best. Friends. Like, for real y’all.
Here is a very rare photo of the boy and I TOGETHER. DRINK IT ALL IN, GUYS. Neither of us feel we are photogenic, so we both avoid being in front of the camera as much as possible. Also, isn’t he so sweet for holding my camera case for me? And then strategically including it into the photo so nicely?
(Note: When JT saw this picture, he laughed, and said “I look like an Alien.”
My Response? “Yeah, well, I told you those sunglasses are weird.”
And now you understand why I love where I live. So, so beautiful.
Thank you to everyone who made my day so special. You really know how to make a girl feel loved. It’s nice to know that even though I don’t have my Dad around to make my birthdays complete, you guys fill up the gap with your love, time and kindness.
(Don’t worry, my birthday is one of about 5 days where I’m allowed to be emotional. This too shall pass, and I’ll be back to my regular non-sappy self soon enough. Promise.)
I love you all.