Valentine's day for me has always been special. Having a birthday on this day of "love" has never been depressing for me. I can remember my birthday always being so special to my mom and her sentiment came across clear to me. When I got engaged, being the Momma's girl that I am, I doubted that my birthday would feel the same once I got married. My first birthday with D we were 8 hours apart. Though he sent candles and flowers, I stilled leaned on my Mom for a special day. The second year of our engagement didn't change too much from the first. Now, by our third year of being together I had finally unnerved myself and we were married. I was now living in New York and had, at this time, no contact with my mom. The day leading up to my birthday I became a little disappointed thinking it will never be as special as my mom had always made it. I was right, it wasn't the same, nor as special as my mom's way of celebrating. Instead it was D's way of celebrating and became his way of making it special. Unbeknownst to him, that year began my new birthday tradition and this year we celebrated our new way for the third time. D sneaks out bed before I awake, goes and buys a dozen red roses and 2 lattes, different flavors from Starbucks. He then quietly places the Roses next to my pillow so when I wake up I wake up to beautiful Roses. He then spoils me with all my birthday presents in bed and we drink our lattes. The day was perfect. As he always makes it, perfect in his way. We spent the day together, saw a movie and laughed together. What could be better?
As I look back on my 28th year of experiences, I can't help but notice a recurring theme throughout those 12 months. In different parts of my life, with different relationships I have had I was able to bring myself to a point of reconciliation. Relationships that needed to end, I was able to end with grace and dignity. Relationships that had been torn by bad mistakes, were able to be mended with sincere regret and apologies. Relationships that I thought could never get better became so much more than better. These relationships that got fixed also ended up fixing me. These bad mistakes that always lingered and brought vengeance to my heart to the individual involved, has become a very unexpected friendship. And through that unexpected friendship has blossomed a healing that we so desperately needed. And my relationship that I thought couldn't get better has allowed me to see sides of my Dad that I never allowed myself to see. For years I struggled with this relationship, for years I carried this badge of blame that I would present to him whenever anything ever went wrong in my life. I also carried a badge of anger and jealously for those things he had that I never did. I lived in assumption to define why these things had occurred. I obviously wasn't loved. I obviously was nothing but a mere nuisance. But back in August, one of the most amazing things happened. That heavy load I had carried for years was lifted off me. That conversation that I played over and over in my head became reality. And from that conversation sprung forth this amazing relationship. The kind of relationship that was meant to be shared between father and daughter. All those badges I wore that represented this relationship just no longer fit. The anger, jealously and blame was quickly replaced with forgiveness, peace and appreciation. And I was obviously loved, very loved. And I obviously was not a nuisance, but a cherished daughter. If one had asked me 5 years ago what kind of relationship I realistically saw for us in the future, the answer would have been grim. But now, as I sit here and reflect on this drastic change, I can't help but feel like the last 28 years had always been like these past 8 months. I see my father now as a wise person, someone I emulate. So, on my birthday, as I was still reveling in the off the cuff comment from my director, how relieving it was to have my dad be the one to encourage me. For him to be the one, really the only one who read that post and just knew, instantly the wisdom that I needed to hear. What was more awesome was that I was finally at that point in my life when it is his wisdom that I absorb. And, and that day, the day that I was my Momma's girl, I finally felt like a Daddy's Girl.