Tonya’s Birthday

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You know, I can never gauge how I’m going to feel on August 27th of any given year since 2002. Most of the time, I go through my day in a routine way, stop at the cemetery to leave flowers and murmured messages of love, and meet my little family at The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We go there because Tonya loved the angel hair pasta and the bar’s lemon drop. We go there because of it’s familiarity; its become our little ritual. We go there because it feels wrong to not celebrate her, to let her birthday drift downriver because she is not here. So why can’t I go there tonight?

I’m stuck. It happens to all who have lost a child, or maybe any close loved one. I want to be home tonight, and I want Tonya to be home with me. No mingling with The Cheesecake crowd tonight.

Maybe I’ll make my own angel hair, my own lemon drop.

  1. Go to the market for pasta, tomatoes, vodka and lemons.
  2. Plan dinner for family who loves Tonya.
  3. Go to cemetery and thank Tonya for helping me figure out how to celebrate her with more joy and less sorrow.

Funny how that worked out–right here in blog space. Ain’t life sorta grand sometimes?


  1. Karen Wygle says:

    Wish I could be with your group who loves/loved Tonya tonight. I’ll never forget how cool I felt walking her in her stroller in Belmont Shores when I was in high school. She was always beautiful! Thinking of you and feeling your loss. I’m sure she’s smiling down on you. Love you#

  2. Bunny Wasser says:

    Happy Birthday, Tonya! I miss you!
    But I have your Mom to love…..good thoughts, Cheryl! I love the family dinner at home!
    Here’s a toast to Tonya!!!
    Love, Bunny

    • Cheryl says:

      Thank you my dear old friend….ooops! That’s not what I meant. I know you loved Tonya and it warms my heart.

  3. Lou says:

    Lovely Tonya…… and 2 days till 1st anniv. of our gal and pal, Sal’s passing. A type remembrance occurred past Sunday when almost all present for brunch at a local (Maine) restaurant had eggs Florentine with corned beef hash, her favorites. And so food does bring back lovely comforting remembrances. Love to you and “the husband”.

  4. Robin says:

    Yummy angel hair pasta. I hope your dinner at home was celebratory. Probably bittersweet like a lemon bar.

  5. Stephanie says:

    What a poignant way to begin the day – reading your blog. Thank you my fried. I imagine the angel hair pasta, made with your loving hands and heart, was like water for chocolate.

    • Stephanie says:

      Did my comment post? I tried, but it’s all still in ghostly print.Love you and loved reading your blog.

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