“Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.” ~ Jean Paul
My sister and I had a knack of spoiling each other on our birthdays. We never had huge parties. Just family dinner and cake, yet we always went all out with each other. Whether it was spa days, beach days, or going out to eat with a rom-com afterwards. It wasn’t always on the exact day of our day of birth, but the two of us would always celebrate in style.
It is fitting, if not a bit bittersweet that her birthday this year falls on Good Friday.
To some it might seem morbid. Yet one of her more memorable birthdays, her 21, just had the luck of falling on Good Friday.
Born and bred Catholic, with the added edition of being an Eastern European Slovak, it was (an is) a holiday that wasn’t just celebrated, but always observed with a reference for the Triduum. It wasn’t just Easter itself which always began with a big Slovak Breakfast, but we went to mass the three nights prior, even when we all got older. We still did our Catholic duty.
The year of Jacquie’s 21, happened to fall on that Friday and she and my brother and his future wife had all come home for the Holiday.
In a small town, falling on a holiday (though not really observed in our town) and a 21 birthday, did not leave for much excitement, especially when she could have been celebrating on a college campus with all her friends and strangers and bars open until the wee hours.
Yet after mass, we all went up to the third floor of my parents house which not only holds what use to be my brother’s bedroom (now a guest room), but also a rec room. My brother was intent on making it special and had bought her a huge bottle of Vodka. While he poured for them, my sister-in-law, who tried to sneak into the kitchen, but my Mom knew, raided the fridge for orange and cranberry juices.
It was much lower key then most 21 birthday celebrations, but I remember sitting there, watching my sister get inebriated off of one drink (yes she was a lightweight) having a dance party (Boy bands until the last) and being happy that even if I couldn’t drink, I was still included in this mile stone where otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to partake.
I remember her looking at me as we danced, promising we would have a grand time for my 21. I couldn’t wait. We had talked about grandiose plans for years ah-la Gilmore Girl’s Vegas plans. That was us.
It never happened.
She was killed months before it. I remember celebrating in New York, knowing she would want me to celebrate but still thinking of her on her own 21. How simple it was and yet she had;t cared. She had happily spent it with family. How ironic that her 21 birthday of ALL birthdays, fell on Good Friday. The solemnest day in the Catholic Calendar. And yet in true Jacquie fashion it was still lively and fun.
Regardless of when it falls I always think of her on Good Friday. And this year, I think of her even more, because once again it falls on her Birthday.
Except this year she is celebrating in heaven instead of with us.
I like to think every year she is still celebrating. Even if she isn’t here, she is up there having an epic dance off to 98 Degrees and N’Sync with all the angels.
Despite the way to short of time I had with her, I am forever grateful she was born all those years ago. For all that she taught me whilst growing up and all that she continues to teach me to this day, the most important is to live life to the fullest, laugh a lot, and yes appreciate all that Nick Lachey and Justin Timberlake contributed to music
Happy twenty-first and eleven years sugar ❤