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04 July 2008 @ 04:36 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 237: Question 237  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 965

It's your birthday! If anything were possible, what would be your perfect way to celebrate?

When my wife was alive, and more recently, when my children had been born, and were alive also, birthdays in our household were wonderful occasions, terribly colourful events of streamers, cake and special congratulations. We were happy when it was someone’s birthday, because we relished in the fact that whoever was the birthday person, now had another year under their belt, another full term of experience, and living, that they had just completed. Birthdays are also very good excuses for cake, and special dinners, and thoughtful presents of varying kinds. They are very good reasons for organising to take the day off work, for freeing up a schedule, in order to spend precious time with loved ones.

Now that I am alone, now that I have become, without my wanting it, a widower, I have gone back to spending my birthdays with my parents, as I did in the years preceding school, and friends, and birthday parties with sandwiches and balloons. I have, indeed, spent most of my birthdays during my life, with my parents, in one way or another, but now, it is mainly with them that I celebrate the occasion, herald the day. We have cake, I receive some lovely presents, and we share lunch or dinner together. Sometimes I cook, sometimes we go out, sometimes we order in, whatever we feel like on the day. If, by the evening, I am left to my own devices, I tend to end up at home, and if I haven’t eaten at that point, I eat then. It is coming up to seven years since I lost my wife and sons, seven years I have spent without them, and in the more recent years, I have, done certain things, in the evenings I am left alone on my birthday, to take my mind of their continued absence. If I spend time, home, alone, on my birthday, after spending time celebrating with my parents, then, so be it, and, if I don’t, then that is fair enough also. Sometimes, I even share a drink with my friends.

The thing I am trying to get at is, before my wife died, before, even, my sons died, I celebrated my birthday as a joyful occasion. I loved, I laughed, I opened presents and wore silly hats if they were passed around. Their death, does not change that, because if it had, it would not be something I would want to happen, it would be something I needed to fix right away, for the simple reason that, I need to live, I need to continue to be happy some of the time.

Mac and I share something gruesome in common now, something that changed our lives those near seven years ago. We both lost people we loved dearly, and there is a strong, but rarely acknowledged bond because of that. Rarely acknowledged because we try not to bring our personal lives into our work, in a largely significant way, as it may become highly disruptive if we did. So, the tradition for my birthday, now, is time with my parents, the sharing of cake, the giving of presents, and kind, accompanying words with this event. We share lunch, or dinner, then I say my farewells and go home. I spend my evening as I see fit, but, without fail, now, because our lives have changed, I can expect Mac to knock on my door. I can expect, that, on my birthday, we will share a drink together, even just coffee, or perhaps something a little stronger, and that we will smile, and nod, and silently acknowledge the tragic event that brought about this tradition. Some people might think it an odd, pointless thing to do, but I have done the same for him every year since he lost his loved one also. People, can think what people may, they can think what they want to, but I still celebrate my birthday as a happy occasion. I do not work on my birthday, because I need to be reminded of the life that I can continue to live, and that I can continue to receive and appreciate the love, company and friendship that I get from my family and friends, my parents and co-workers. I have known Mac for a long time now, and he is a good, friendly man. My parents, I have, obviously, known for my entire life, and they are people I will always love and appreciate for their love and generosity of spirit.

Since the death of my wife and sons, my birthday has not changed, hardly, and if only, slightly, because of their absence. For me, it is still a happy day, where I am free to spend time with the people I love, and know closely. I am immensely grateful that I am still able to do this, because, when my birthday is over, not only do I have another year of experience under my belt, I have been reassured that there are still people in this world who care about me, that I have not lost everyone I love dear and close. While it would be nice to continue to have spent my birthdays with my wife and sons, also, the birthdays that I have now, are just as special, just as nice, because I am reminded that I am loved, that I am needed in this world, and those facts, really, are some of the most important facts of all. To be honest, truly and truthfully honest, my birthday is an important day to me, and in absence, in death, that has not changed. The core acts of love and celebration, appreciation for my family and friends, for my life itself, have not changed, and for that, I am forever, continually, grateful.
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Time Is Running Out - Muse