Andrew’s 24th birthday was last week and as always it is an emotional time for me, especially with Martin being 3,000 miles away, and waking up alone on Andrew’s birthday to the deafening silence. Also the realization that it is his 8th birthday I was celebrating without him physically here. I can not believe he would be 24. The Grief was all up in my flava that morning!
So I had the pity party first and then went on preparing for his birthday. My friend Megan came over around 1pm, so the pity party ended then. She came over early to do my PureHeart tattoo in Elvish on my wrist and spent the day with me and helped me prepare for the party that evening.
Of course we had to do the tradition of getting him a carrot cake from Publix and his “steakie goodness” meal at Long Horn’s Steak House. We have been doing it every year on Muck’s birthday since he was 10yo. Not sure if he loved it there so much because of the steak or because his big sister worked there, but he just loved that place! I ordered the renegade that he always did. I ordered it the way I like it now, I use to like it well done, but since Andrew left I like it medium, so I ordered it that way and of course I got it medium rare, closer to how Muck liked it. He does that every time to Martin when Martin orders a steak. Since Martin wasn’t there, he did it to me. Nice to see some procedures never change.
On the way home from the “steakie goodness” Andrew made me make a couple of pit stops I was not planning. As I was showing Megan where our store use to be, I hear, “raspberry happiness!” Then I feel the pull, the pull to go to the bakery that expanded into our Wizard’s Window old bay. I was pulled across 3 lanes of traffic! LOL
I go in and the eldery gentleman is still there that use to sell Andrew the “raspberry happiness” and he remembers me. I buy 3 of them, and he gives me a loaf of bread too and says, “bring it back tomorrow if you don’t like it.” Yep! The same ole guy I remember.
Then I try to head home again, but Andrew wasn’t done with me yet! I could feel his energy, which makes me a bit high, so I’m hoping he finally learned how to drive on the other side because I’m going to need some help here to stay focused. His energy is intoxicating! I then start telling Megan about the 4 & 20 Pasty Company, and that’s when I hear, “Lucozade!” Really dude? You’re gonna make me stop for Lucozade? Yes he was!
I could feel his energy and I was getting all excited about Lucozade. It was Andrew’s favorite beverage in Ireland, NOT mine, but yet I was feeling all excited about it. I go in and the English wife owner is there, she had met Andrew a number of times. I told her it was his birthday and he wanted me to stop for Lucozade. Megan and I were looking at the pasties, and Andrew made me tell Megan how Wes loved the Shepard’s Pie pasty there. I almost bought one, felt the pull to buy one, but I hadn’t seen Wes in a long time, so why bother? Right?
Then on my way out, or should I say as I try to leave, Muck makes me stop and look at the shelf of goodies from the UK and I start laughing. What do I see? Spotted Dick! So, yes, I had to buy the Spotted Dick too. When Andrew saw that on a menu in England in 2006, the year before he was diagnosed, he laughed so hard and made Martin order it so he could take a picture of it to show Cory. Of course there was NO way in hell he was going to tell the server that he wanted spotted dick! But it was ok for him if his father did. LOL
I have to say, I really enjoyed shopping with my boy on his birthday as he brought back such fond memories of his favorite things that we use to buy together.
I was wondering how Andrew was going to make his birthday special for me since I had to start it off alone. The shopping was not enough, I wanted more! Nothing can top the Spirit Portrait he gave me on his 21st, but I still like surprises from him. I like to see if he can up his game.
Well, he delivered! While it may not have been as huge as the spirit portrait, it was still pretty special! The party was in full swing, when someone comes to the door, I was so surprised to see him! It was Wes! I hadn’t seen him in about 18 months! He hugged me so tight and so long, it felt so good! Then of course I smacked him for not coming by to visit. He stayed the rest of the evening. It just made my night! Now I know why Andrew wanted me to buy the Shepard’s Pie! He was giving me a clue as to the surprise that was coming.
Wes asked about the fire crackers he and Andrew had bought in 2007 for the 4th of July. I told him we still had them where Wes left them back in 2008 when he found them. BUT I warned him that I wouldn’t light any since the last time we tried on the 4th of July in 2013, it exploded in Martin’s hand. Wes was willing to risk it for his friend’s birthday and all his digits were attached at the end of the night.
After Wes got there, I decided that since there was a few people there that never got to meet my Muck, that the rest of us would share our fav Muck story. Like my sister on a bike ride with Andrew when he was like 9 or 10yo, and running over a squirrel on her BICYCLE! Who does that? LOL Of course LOTS of laughter ensued with each story! It was so much fun hearing and sharing those stories again! I also got to show off his spirit portrait and his bedroom to a new friend and business partner. Elatia made jello shots, so we had a jello shot toast to our Muck.
Andrew’s birthday might have started with a pity party, but in the end, it was a great day! And that my friends, is how you Turn Devastation Into Celebration!
IT’S ALL GOOD!