30th Birthday

I guess I’m thinking of my 30th birthday a lot because it was the last “big” birthday I had with you and the last time I actually remember a lot of celebrating.  You had to work in the morning because your boss also took off for his wife’s birthday.  Then we walked to 15th Street and Terrace bagels- got bagel sandwiches and iced coffee and walked back to our neighborhood through our favorite spots in Prospect Park trading our cheap camera back and forth along the way because we both loved taking photographs.

In the afternoon we went to a seven course tea at Lady Mendels near Union Square- you asked for thirds for the finger sandwiches and were turned down.  Then we visited one of my best friends at the hospital.  Her first baby and I share the same birthday.  We took turns holding the baby and my biological clock was booming.

In the evening you sang me a lovely song that you’d written for the occasion in the living room of our brownstone.  It is this picture of you singing to me so sweetly that winds me tonight like a hard punch in the stomach.  It’s amazing how many times I can think, “Oh my God- that was you- this is about you!” still after all these months.  But that moment is engraved in my head because I sat there just taking it all in…the sound of your voice, the way you always had trouble remembering lyrics while you played, and the way you would stop and smile at me and look in my eyes as you sang.  Such a humble thing to do- sing your wife a love song.  It was always my favorite gift.

Unfortunately, none of them are recorded- and I don’t have any of the music- that was all in your head.  I just hear you singing in my head…

From “Better” by Daniel Cho

We are getting older, yeah
We are getting wrinkles, yeah
but we are getting smarter, getting stronger, getting wiser, we keep getting better, yeah.
We are getting slower, yeah.
We are getting white hair, yeah.
But we are so much braver, much more beautiful than ever, we keep getting better…

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