I've tried to avoid doing anything we used to do, just for today.
Something will probably be done collectively in two weeks, but I'm not really looking forward to it, frankly.
Still far too raw.
I did, however, spend some time remembering a few of the earlier birthdays, hers and mine.
With the inescapable truth of the cancer, and the resulting inability to heal and get better physically, I'm theoretically glad not to be sharing this birthday with Penny. When I thought about it today, I remembered that even though he knew that he was going to raise him, when Jesus went to Lazarus' home, he still felt grief. Jesus wept. God knows the grief, better than I do, because He grieves for the pain of every death, every living thing that suffers, and that doesn't so much lessen my own pain as guarantee that I know it is shared, in greater depth of understanding than I will ever have of it.
Our birthday rituals were simple enough. We would either go to our favorite restaurant for brunch or dinner, or one of us would prepare a nice meal for the other, and we'd share a dessert, usually containing chocolate, and we'd exchange kisses for the number of years being celebrated. This had, recently, required application of chapstick.
And we'd read together, or nap, or watch a favorite movie on television, or maybe, if it were the right day, join to celebrate with friends.
So I didn't really do any of those things, except to drink a painfully hot shot of Grand Marnier in memory.