Thursday, September 3

September 3rd.

Happy birthday!

I feel like today is the most perfect day to reflect on our last visit. As soon as I found out I would be going to San Diego at the end of July for work, I knew I wanted to come see you. No, not wanted, would be going to see you. I called the PR company organizing the junket and said "Hey, I’ll be finding my own ride to the resort—I have an incredibly important stop to make first."

In the cab on the way, I was looking at the window, already crying and emotional because when I walked outside there wasn't a white Chevy Corsica with a red MADD ribbon waiting at the curb. You weren't there to pick me up like you had been for the 16 years I came to see you—including all those summers I flew solo, feeling like the most grown up grown up ever. I remember looking out the window once we got close to Bonita trying to remember what looked familiar. Was the Longs still there we went to the day after Christmas every year to buy cheap wrapping paper and hard candies? How about that Carl's Junior's where I begged for chicken stars every single day. Some of the places we passed seemed familiar, but I’m not sure. None of it mattered though, because we weren’t going to 3129 Calle Abajo.

When we finally got to the cemetery, the office was closed, so I wasn't exactly sure where you were. Then all of a sudden, as I was ready to give up, I just had this feeling I needed to look at one more section. And there you were.
I think I actually crumbled to the ground in sobs. I miss you. I miss you everyday—especially now, even more now, that I am a mother.
Things have been screwed up a little and I so could have used a big hug and some Carl's Junior's. Have you help me talk it out a little. I really have no idea what I am doing. None.

I spent a few minutes hanging out with you and PopPop before I had to go fix my makeup and mingle with our biggest advertiser.

It wasn't enough time.

I don't think I’ll ever have enough time. I miss you.

Happy birthday! I hope Heaven is throwing you one hell of a party. I can't wait to join you. We can watch Deal or No Deal and I'll get you Taco Bell, no I still won't eat that crap!, and you can tell me about how exactly you juggled being a working mom—I should have asked you those kinds of questions because I don’t know if I am doing it right. I hope you're proud. I miss you. I love you.

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