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Tuesday was my birthday.  My tenth birthday without my husband.  And I finally realized why I have avoided it for the past decade.  It’s because he isn’t here to make the big deal of it he always did.

My first time celebrating my birthday with Gary was also our first ever evening date.  We’d known each other for two months, had been to lunch once and talked through several hour long phone conversations between Toronto and Los Angeles as I packed the last of my boxes to move from Canada back here (again).  Total hours shared up to that evening…seven…seven and a half if you count the drive to the restaurant.

Half way through dinner, he interrupted whatever it was we were talking about, looked me at me and said, “I guess this means we’re dating.”

You would have laughed loudly had you heard the ensuing conversation that when on in my head.  “How dare he assume…”  “Well, that’s pretty presumptive…”  “Who are you to tell me we are…”

WAIT…for several years I had been complaining that men didn’t say what they wanted.  Here was one who was willing to lay it all right out on the white linen between the lobster and the nut crusted sea bass.

I looked straight back at him and answered, “Yes, I guess it does.”  And so began the love story punctuated each year on my birthday by thoughtful gifts, a special evening out…and always, roses.  For ten years, I have been without roses on my birthday…until this one.

On Tuesday morning, as I entered my walk in closet to dress for a very important meeting, the scent of red roses whispered past me for a second.  I do not wear perfume or fragrance of any kind.  I do not have sachets or air fresheners in my closet or in my home.  It happened twice.

The thought of Gary’s roses crossed my mind but I dismissed it.  And then, as I drove to my meeting I started to feel a little nervous.  Within seconds of the thought, the scent of roses wafted through my car as I traveled up La Cienega…nowhere near a flower shop, garden or any other possible source of the fragrance.

The nervousness faded and instead I embraced a feeling of peace and calm.  The meeting was incredibly successful.  Being present and clear makes such a difference.

Thank you for my birthday roses, Gary.


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