Friday, March 13, 2015

The Real Black Friday

Being born on the thirteenth of a month (in North America at least) can be fun. It means that throughout your life you'll have a Friday the 13th birthday. My first was in 1981 (7 years old). I honestly don't remember it. The next one was in 1987 when I turned thirteen on Friday the 13th. That day was awesome; everyone was so nice to me. For one day I was the coolest kid in school.

The next one was just as memorable: in 1992 I turned 18, my birthday present was sex for the first time, and even though I was all grown up I still couldn't watch the Friday the 13th movies (too scary!) My 24th birthday in 1998 was uneventful unless you count the fact that it was around then that I quit smoking (haven't smoked since!)

Then began a nice stretch of more than a decade without a birthday on a Friday. That stretch ended in 2009 at the age of 35. It also marks the loss of my wife's brother and will forever be remembered as the worst. birthday. ever.

Every birthday since has been bitter sweet. On one hand I am reminded of all the truly wonderful people that I have in my life. I'm also still having birthdays, and that's a good thing. On the other hand it's tough because Ryan meant so much to everyone, and that day is just one more reminder that he's gone.

This year marks the first Friday the 13th since that fateful day six years ago. My wife and I are taking our daughter for a follow-up with her surgeon and the family will go out for dinner that night. We'll celebrate my life for a few minutes and remember Ryan's as well. Last year the cat died on my birthday so this year we're hoping either the frog or the hamster will take one for the team.

My next Friday the 13th birthday won't be until 2020 (when I turn, wait for it... 46). After that I can look forward to that special birthday in '26, 37, '43, '48, '54, '65, '71, and '76 (where I'll be a ripe old 102). I hope to make it that far and beyond, remembering Ryan on every Friday the 13th birthday, every other birthday, and each and every day in between.

Live. Laugh. Love.

~ Andrew

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