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“Christmas without Christmas Eve”

LoraandiToday is her birthday.  Tomorrow is mine.  (Almost) Exactly three years apart.  I still remember sitting at the kitchen table when she was about 7 and getting exasperated trying to explain to her why, even though her birthday was the day before mine, I was still older.  That still makes me laugh.

My mom jokes about being in labor with Lora and begging the nurses to somehow "get her out" before the stroke of midnight.  She couldn’t bear the thought of us not having our own birthdays.  And growing up, she was always very careful to treat our birthdays separately.  But, honestly, Lora and I loved it.  And when I went to college and called her on December 12, we’d joke about talking again "tomorrow."

I still remember my first December 12 & 13 after she died.  I couldn’t fathom having a birthday without first celebrating hers.  And for the entire year I had trouble remembering I was 22; after all, she wasn’t 19.  It was like the clock had stopped for me. 

I never again woke up on my birthday with the same fervor and excitement.  The only way I could describe it to friends who didn’t understand was that it was like trying to celebrate Christmas without Christmas Eve. It’s just not the way its done.  It doesn’t help that with every year, I inch closer to "old" (when is a person "old," anyway?).  Twenty-nine just seems so, so practically thirty

Anyway, I know this is also a special day for Mom, who is no doubt thinking back with both sweet and bitter tears at the day the second of her two greatest gifts (if we do say so ourselves) was brought into this world.  We all really miss her.

LauraJ - Happy Birthday to you. And Happy Birthday in Heaven to your sister. I’m sure she is smiling down on you with pride. (((((((((((((((((Big hugs to you all. )))))))))))))))

Regina - Thinking of Lora, whom I never had a chance to know. Hoping your birthday is special!
In Christ,

Darlene - Have a wonderful day. This year you have all your little family together again. Love always

Stephanie - happy birthday to lora. and to you too crystal.

Susan - Happy Birthday to you! Let me know when you figure out how old “old” is.

Christine - Happy Birthday to you Lora, may the angels hear your sweet voice. She really seemed like such a beautiful and genuine person.
Happy early Birthday to you too Crystal, I know it’s bittersweet, but you have been blessed with another year under your belt. You have a wonderful husband who’s home safe and sound, and an absolutely adorable daughter.

Mom - You girls are indeed the BEST gifts God ever gave to me… thank you for this tribute to your sister, sweetie… and know that today I am celebrating YOU, the wonderful person you are and are becoming, the little baby that first made me “Mom.”
Always, and in all ways,

Andrea - Happy Birthday! I hope that this is your best year yet!
Happy Birthday to your sister too.
I hope the happy memories you have of her overwhelm you today!

suzy - Happy Birthday, Crystal!

Karen - Happy Birthday Crystal. I hope J. and E. help you celebrate yet another fabulous year…any excuse to wear cute shoes :)
Happy Birthday to Lora. I wish I could have had the honor to meet you…I have the feeling that we would have gotten along quite well. Crystal is lucky to have you watching over her.

charlotte - I traced back to you from your kind comment on my new blog…and found this wonderful, soulful, tough and tender spirit here, revealing your heart’s rumblings with such beautiful words. Another person I do not know but will think about frequently. I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. So, so sad. Hoping your little E, big J and your family made your birthday a sweet one–a celebration of you.

Erin - I’m sorry I am late in responding, I was going to call you last night but didn’t realize it was your birthday this week. I’m still balling me eyes out from your tribute to your sister. See is always watching over you and I am sure she is so proud of the woman you have become and the wonderful mother we all espire to be. Happy Birthday! I miss you!

Christine - Cheers to your sister…
As if your optimism during deployment wasn’t enough… You truly know how to capture a feeling, (good or not so good!) and make it a wonderful experience in words.
Do I feel a book coming on? :)
Happy Holidays~