I promised you I would come home for your birthday.

We spent the day celebrating you: eating what we knew you would have enjoyed, doing things we wished we could have done with you if only one more time, remembering the happiness you could bring and trying just for a while to forget the emptiness you left behind.

And now, tonight it’s snowing. The yard is blanketed in white, and the soft sizzle of falling snow fills the night air. I know you would be delighted. Snow on your birthday, a perfect complement to the Christmas tree I know you would have had me set up today.

There’s pie and ice cream and a final toast to be made in your honor before the evening’s end, and maybe we’ll watch some slides of birthdays and holidays past…evoke your spirit just a little while longer.

Happy birthday, Mom.