Randee’s Birthday


Randee’s Birthday

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Today is my sister Randee’s birthday.

I was reminded of that while glancing at greeting cards in the mall. It seems so strange for January 29th to approach, without my looking for just the right card or gift. Yet that’s the new reality, now that my sister has passed away.

To me, this day will always belong to Randee. Some might say I should go ahead and buy her a gift, just to ease my mind. Others will say that after three years, it’s time to let go. There are many opinions on this matter, with none of them being right or wrong.

The easiest thing would be to “think happy thoughts” and push any lingering sorrow aside. To me, that would be a cop-out. If I’m going to feel anything, then I need to feel everything. It’s not like I’m maudlin or depressed when Randee’s birthday rolls around. It just feels strange and empty, an acknowledgment that something is missing that nothing can replace.

Social media doesn’t help. There are dozens of friends that have passed away who are still on my Facebook friends list. I keep them there to see the pictures they’ve posted over the years, and to keep them in my thoughts. But I don’t wish them a happy birthday when Facebook suggests that I do.

My social media feeds are full of people sending birthday greetings to others that are long gone, and that’s their prerogative. There are all kinds of strange and wondrous things that happen in the world, but I don’t think our dearly departed friends and relatives are reading our tweets. To me, it’s less a matter of wishing someone a happy birthday, and more a way of acknowledging how much we want to be celebrating with them. We oh-so-much want that to continue, even if they’re not there to blow out the candles.

So, on this day, I don’t pretend Randee is still here – at least in any physical form. I just acknowledge that I’m glad we shared our lives for so many years. We had some rough moments during our childhood and teen years but managed to become close as the years went by.

It reminds me of the theme song from the 1950s cartoon, Ruff and Reddy, which we used to watch in reruns. “They sometimes have their little spats, even fight like dogs and cats, but when they need each other, that’s when they’re rough and ready.” We certainly had our spats, but when we needed each other – truly needed each other – we were there. There will be no party for Randee this year, but this is still her day. It always will be.

Today is my sister Randee’s birthday.

– Jeff (Jeff’s Journal)

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