My love/hate relationship with the month of February

A few years ago, the title would have just read, “my favorite month is February” followed by all the reasons under the sun that made me love the month of February.

I still love the month very much, but now the month comes with a dark cloud of remembrance for me.

I love celebrating birthdays, ask any of my close friends and family. I find excitement and pride in finding the perfect gift for someone’s birthday. I like to listen closely to clues, I try to remember what they appreciated while we were out shopping and I would say I retain information well.

As you can imagine, I also love celebrating my birthday. Which happens to fall close to February; my birthday is in March.

I believe my early love of my birthday started when I was single digits. I don’t have a lot of good memories with my mom, but I do have a fair amount of great memories of my birthday celebrations with her. Let’s just say, she went big, or she went home… this taught me early to value birthdays and that making someone feel special on their birthday makes you feel good too. PSA: My love language involves gifts and acts of appreciation. Mixed in with some positive chatter about how beneficial, beautiful, talented, creative, thoughtful and loving I am… blah blah blah.

Anyways, after lots of money and time invested thinking about it, in my heart I believe she always tried to do really cool things for my birthdays like the dirty dancing themed birthday party I had and another one that involved marijuana and a séance because the rest of the year she was pretty “hands-off”. She fumbled through parenting because she was very busy fumbling through her life with no real support or means of getting any. She was broken early on and spent a good amount of time doing things that kept her on a path that didn’t lead to anything positive. For the most part of her life. Once she learned how to stop getting in her own way, it was too late.  Despite the relationship I had with her as a youth,  and the 11 years we had no contact, we managed to create and nurture a new relationship.

She was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer in 2008 I think and at this time I was still  active duty and received a red cross message and had to go. I bought her a beautiful peach Italian jewelry box as a gift to give her. Even though our parting terms probably would alleviate me of the responsibility of a gift. But it was engrained early that it makes people feel good and that makes you feel good. So after 11 years of no contact at all, I fly from Italy back to Texas with this jewelry box. She had a necklace waiting for me.  We spent time together and decided to move on and spend the remaining years together, in each others lives.

She became my best friend. She loved the man I picked as my partner. She walked me down the aisle and attended my bachelorette party. She loved her birthday too, and it was February 23rd. I miss her and I miss celebrating the hell out of her birthday because it always made her happy for months, no matter how sick she was at the time. I have those gifts now, and my daughter plays with them and they live on in her room. She never got to meet Charlotte. She was holding on past the 6-month sentence, but once she knew the pregnancy with Charlotte was healthy she passed soon after.

She would have been 53, but she would tell you 45.

February 23rd also happens to be my favorite aunt and uncle’s birthdays. She is the glue to our family and Adrian and I grew up pretty much like brother and sister.

The last reason I love this month is that my favorite holiday is Valentines Day. Go ahead, roll your eyes, I love this hallmark holiday. I  love being doted on, I love being taken out, I love receiving gifts as you already read. The date I knew Chris was the one was Valentines Day. He got the fucking memo and I was taken care of.

So, you can see the love/hate relationship I now have and will always have with this month. One minute I am thinking of my momma crying into my chocolates and another minute I am sobbing in a bubble bath full of new bath products. Poor Chris. I think he knew it was going to be an emotional roller coaster this month and planned ahead because he has received 4 boxes in 1 week from stores he does not shop at.

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