Monday, February 21, 2011

Birthday Wish For Chris

Last February 19th, after I read her two bedtime stories, Meazi turned to me and said, “Mommy, I think my Daddy is sad about his Mom today.” I asked if my husband had said something to her about Chris. She said, “No, I just think so.” Remarkably, this date was Chris’s birthday. Her eyes got wide and she yelled, “Mommy! Why we did not celebrate? We didn’t even get a cake!” I told her that since Grandma Chris wasn’t here to enjoy it, we didn’t feel like celebrating. She was quiet for a moment and then said sternly, “Mommy, next time we are going to celebrate for her. We are going to get a cake. We will get a candle. I can make her wish for her. It is her birthday.” 

When I wrote that article for In Culture parent, I actually wrote the wrong date. Chris' birthday is the 20th of February, yesterday. She would have been 66 years old. We didn't get a cake, but we did find a way to celebrate. On our way to Chinatown, I asked Meazi if she wanted to visit the wishing well, and make a birthday wish for Chris there. She said she would. As we got closer she told me that she was going to wish for roller skates instead. I didn't have high hopes. Steven had shown Meazi and Melese an album that morning, old black and white photos of his family. The wishing well has little dishes scattered to collect coins. In front of the dishes are small signs like, 'health', 'long life', 'money', and even 'vacation'. You can be pretty specific about what you wish for. We gave the kids all the coins we had.

Steven bought them those annoying little snappers that you can throw or stomp.

We did a little shopping.

And exploring.
Then we went to one of very favorite restaurants in Los Angeles.

The food came, Meazi took a couple of bites, turned to me and said, " I wished for 'love' and 'happy' for Grandma Chris."

I wish you could have met these two Chris. They are remarkable.

Happy Birthday.


  1. Amazing they are. I wish Chris could have met them too

  2. M is a little sweetheart, so thoughtful. I my opinion I think there is plenty room to wish for "love", "happy" and "roller skates."
    Great pictures, especially that last one!

  3. Oh Julie. Very touching. I remember being at that wishing well with you....I'm so happy to see your wish has come true! I miss you.

  4. So touching. Meazi sounds like a beautiful, empathetic heart of a child.

  5. Happy Birthday Chris. I'm certain the 20th will always be a special day for M and m.

  6. Happy Birthday Chris.

    These anniversaries are so hard. Still, and I'd imagine always. I still feel sad that my kids won't get to experience my mom. And I'm sad that she never got to experience them. It feels so unfair that on top of all their other losses, they have this one too. And yet, I think it has helped me relate to my kids better than I could have otherwise because we had to navigate through our grief together and find redemption in one another.

    I love how your family chose to celebrate Chris' birthday. It is truly amazing how kids just *know* important dates sometimes. And the surprising capacity for empathy and selflessness never ceases to amaze me!

  7. Way to keep up the "posts that make my cry" roll you're on.

  8. Yep, crying over here, too.

    And thanks for the restaurant recommendation.

  9. Tears at the office....I am so sorry Chris didn't have the chance to know your incredible children.

  10. Beautiful. Your Meazi is a deep soul.