Simon would have turned 35 today. He died 18 days ago. It seems longer. Maybe because he was already dying when he got diagnosed and we just didn’t know it yet. This whole summer seemed to move in slow motion as we lived it but now that it’s over, it went so, so fast. Unbelievably fast.
Simon didn’t care for parties on his birthday. His birthday is within a week of our son’s and my brother’s birthday. Occasionally he would tolerate a casual party to celebrate all three guys. One year he went skydiving. A few times, he got tattoos. Last year, we stayed at the hotel next to Knott’s Berry Farm. We did a day at Knott’s, a day at the waterpark, a day at the pool, and Simon snuck off for beer with friends one of the evenings. He was also thrilled to discover the hotel had a sauna. He wasn’t much for pampering but would make exceptions for a good sauna or Chinese acupressure massage.
So we’re headed to Knott’s again to make the best of this tough day, this tough week, this tough summer. I wanted him to still be here. I wanted to give him a hard time about officially being middle aged. I wanted to race down a waterslide with him and scream on a roller coaster with him. I miss him. I miss his help. I miss the way he loved our kids. I miss the way he could read my emotions when I got sick of being around my family and would help me escape for a few hours. I want to hear him say he loves me again. To tell me I’m beautiful again. He did that often. Even on his birthdays.
I’m going to try and have fun anyway. That’s what he would have wanted. So this next roller coaster ride is for you, Simon. This next cannonball in the pool. The next ice cream cone. The next carnival game. The next hug with Snoopy. The next smile. The next laugh.
Happy Birthday, Simon.