There’s always something remarkable about my birthday. Two years ago, I went to The Hobbit for a couple of drinks and there I met my best friend, Maša. Last year, I went to London (after missing the bus and having to catch the next one) and spent the night with Katka and her housemates,
drinking tasting Slovakian spirits which names I can’t remember.
Long before October came, I’d known this year wouldn’t compete with previous years, and I felt a bit bummed about that.
Then a few days before my birthday, my mom got in a car accident.
I don’t think I’ve ever feel that terrified. I went through all those scenes in the movies; rushing to the ER, seeing my mom behind a glass window in the ICU, and seeing her struggle to breathe with the machine beeping beside her. When the scenes that you thought belong to fictional stories unfolded before your very own eyes, you’d imagine the worst. I’d never thought reading the word resuscitation could ever send shiver down my spine, but that day, it did.
So I spent my birthday evening at the hospital, instead of at a dinner somewhere, but it didn’t matter. I was just so relieved that my mom survived. And it turned out that day was so much better than I expected, thanks to my friends. I got flowers and cake sent to my office (so unexpectedly!), and I got a bunch of heartfelt messages from my closest friends who actually remembered my birthday (like, really remembered, instead of being reminded by Facebook). To be remembered and getting messages from friends all over the world is special enough, and to make it this far in life is already a gift anyway.
Maybe I’m more mature, or maybe it’s just recent events changed me. This birthday is memorable just as the others, and I feel incredibly lucky and grateful for that, for the people around me, for all the little things, and for life itself.