i wish it hadn't been so long since my last post. i have more than enough to say for each day. but not nearly enough time. work and school have demanded a lot of time. perhaps it's a blessing in disguise.
wednesday was my birthday. the first birthday without Jarronn in five years. the first birthday he was around for was in 2004. he, myself, and our co-worker tamika (unofficially known as "the caucus") had started the tradition of going out for dinner to celebrate each of our birthdays. we went to outback steakhouse for mine. Jarronn had us laughing as he created commentary for the table next to us. he asked the server about her "flair" -- which later led to a viewing of the movie 'office space' at his apartment a few weeks later.
subsequent celebrations of my birthday brought lots of fun times. dinners out together, thoughtful gifts. in 2006, my first birthday back in maryland, Jarronn threw me a surprise party at lucky strike. i was pretty impressed at how well he had pulled it off. especially considering that he hardly knew my friends back then.
this past year, i suggested that we not exchange gifts, as we were trying to save money for our wedding. i woke up last year to homemade belgian waffles and Jarronn's excitement to celebrate me. i came home to a gift. Jarronn had printed one of my favorite photos of us and framed it with references to some of our favorite phrases, inside jokes, and moments. the perfect gift. it hangs between my dresser mirror and bedroom door, and i stare at it for a few minutes each day. for a few final seconds before i leave the house.
i didn't know how i'd feel on my birthday this year. luckily (i guess), i tend not to make a big deal out of my birthday or have any expectations for it being the best day of the year. but i did think about Jarronn. how this wouldn't be a birthday that started and ended with him. how three years ago, i told him i wanted to be married by this birthday. he found that pretty amusing at the time but later reminded me that he helped me reach my goal.
this year's birthday was a good one. i worked that day, had class afterwards, and then a two-hour conference call. not exactly relaxing, but the day was filled with lots of love and things i'm thankful for -- flowers on my desk, lunch at a great restaurant, cake and a card at work, and even cupcakes from my group project members when i got to class. i was overflowing with gratitude.
so another year and another birthday. different, but good.