My birthday passed recently. I was apprehensive and really felt like I did not deserve a birthday celebration. I remember offering it to my wife wishing I could give it to her as I am sure she did not enjoy hers back in February. Leading up to it she asked what I wanted for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is our “thing” to pamper the person who’s birthday it is. I felt like I didn’t deserve being pampered so I made no special requests but the basics. She also told me that she had not purchased me anything significant for my birthday, I smiled and said I already have what I wanted for my birthday. I had her and that was all the present I needed.
The day started with sleeping in which I needed badly. I have not slept well and am run down. Overall the day was pleasant, only a few moments where my wife fell. She had put too much pressure on herself to make it perfect and when she fell it made her sad compounding the problem. I did my best to ease her concerns.
Dinner with just the kids was what I had asked for. I did not want the whole extended family as with past birthdays. We had just had Easter dinner with a larger group and it is torture for my wife as she has to pretend she is happy. She calls it “acting for the audience”, because no one in our family knows.
That evening the kids gave me a few fun presents for “dad” and a cake. All in all a nice birthday.
Bed time came and as we lay in bed my wife hopped up and started digging under the bed. She produced a large wrapped frame.
The image is of a heart, made up of a thousand tiny coloured fragments. She created it for me. My wife spent hours working on it. In some of the fragments she wrote words from our healing journey. Such powerful words fill the broken pieces of her heart. She wrote words like love, strength, hope, best friends, truth, kiss, happy, honesty, together. She created the artwork after her weekend away at the “Take Your Life Back” experience. She has struggled greatly at times but has found new strength and ways to bring herself back from those depths of sadness.
I love the picture for the many things it tells me. As she has explained it, she sees it as the pieces of her heart slowly coming back together as I work so very hard to heal the wounds that I have caused. It tells me she loves me and is trying to come back to me. It also says we have a long way to go because the heart is broken in so many pieces, but we are going down that path together.
My birthday present hangs in our bedroom, where we can keep it private and I can start and end my day looking at the wonderful gift she made me.