23rd December is just another day now.

It would have been your birthday today; so many years have passed and I barely even think about it much or get sad about it.
But on some days, like today, I do, I remember and I feel it all.

What would it have been like, if you were still here?
Would my life be any different?
Would I live here?
Would I have this job?
Would I be married?
Would I have kids?
Would I be travelling the world?
Would I be even more broken?
Would my pieces have come together, held lovingly in place by a mother’s love?

I remember you at random times and it takes all of me to hold back the tears.
I don’t feel scared or lost without you;
You left me with the most awesome support system headed by the absolute best man I know;
Zainab is only the strongest, most intelligent person I know,
Your baby boy, Musa, is an amazing strong-willed human being who knows exactly what he wants and goes for it everday,
And you would be absolutely proud of the beautiful woman Ore is becoming everyday;
Saying I am proud of these 3 everyday is an understatenent.

However, I wonder and sometimes worry; would you be proud of me?
Am I the current best version of me?
Could I have been better for now?
Am I doing life right?

There’s absolutely no reason to be dwelling on thoughts such as this.
Afterall, life is for the living and I should focus on being the best I can at it.

But on some days, like today, I remember, I feel everything and I absolutely miss you.

And sometimes, it takes all of me to hold back from saying “…and my mom’s birthday is the 23rd”

 


©Adeola Matemilola 2016
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Are you happy?

Jan’s rocking chair squeaks slightly as she rocks back and forth, back and forth…
She closes her eyes and heaves a sigh…

She opens her eyes to see her mom gently waking her from sleep, it’s graduation day!
The main point of the graduation speech is “What makes you happy?”

Jan and her best friend go on to the same university, are room mates, spend four years strenghtening the bonds of their friendship, supporting each other through boyfriends, crushes, exams, tests, partying and all.
Unfortunately, their friendship sort of wan thin after school, they hardly speak anymore.

Jan looks up from her laptop screen as her assistant walks into her office, she signs the documents appropriately and as her assistant leaves, turns around to look out at the view through her office window.

Jan looks through her veil as she walks down the aisle with her dad towards the man she loved more than life itself, she could hardly contain her joy as tears streamed down her face.

Jan looks up from the bills on the table at her husband who also looks quite worried, thinking about how they would pay all their bills this month, even though they both feel quite irritated and on edge at the moment, they know in their hearts that life will definitely get much better.

Jan is awakened by a continuous bouncing of the bed, she opens her eyes to see the sweet little face of her 3-year old, she gives him a tight hug and gently pats his bum as she sends him on his way to get his brother and sister out of their rooms.

Jan looks up through the trees at the sky, she is lying on a blanket under the shadow of some trees with her head on her husband legs while the kids played around them.
Her husband bends to kiss her lightly on the lips and he tells her how he loves her and how lucky he is to have her in his life. She feels exactly the same way.

Jan takes a sip from her wine glass as she listens to her friends’ chatter all around her, she laughs hard at something one of them said, they crack her up so much, the silly girls.

Jan struggles not to cry as they drive through the college gates, it’s her son’s first day at college and he is so excited, she sees in his face the hope and promise she felt on her first day of university.

Jan takes a deep breath and struggles to hold her anger in check as she looks at her daughter who in her own words “got pregnant by accident”, she knew though that no matter how angry she felt, she couldn’t cast her daughter away, one mistake didn’t mean she didn’t still have a bright future.

Jan smiles brightly through her tears as she poses for a photo with her family, it’s her daughter’s college graduation and little Tommy who is now 5 years old skips around his mother as she stood resplendent in her graduation gown, she turns to Jan and hugs her tightly, little Tommy sees this and runs towards them to wrap his arms around their legs, as he shouts in his beautiful tiny voice “group hug”, the family all draw in, laughing as they hugged, lost in their own little world

Jan opens her eyes to see little Tommy’s angelic face beside hers, He is 7 years old now, he climbs onto her lap.
She suddenly hears singing voices from behind her as her entire family start to come out onto the porch “Happy birthday to you…”
It’s Jan’s birthday today, she is 75 years old.
She looks into the faces of her husband who she has only gotten to love more and more over the years, her children, her grandchildren.

She looks into their eyes with a huge smile on her face, and tears of joy in her eyes, her eyes and face a reflection of the love and excitement shining in theirs.

Jan takes a deep breath and whispers to herself “what hasn’t made me happy?”