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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Swindler

thoughts on winter weather and birthdays



I am currently sitting outside in the middle of February. As a Washington State native, this is never something I will get used to. Today the high is 77º. On Saturday, they are predicting snow. As I am sitting here soaking up the sun, I can't help but think about the cold front that is coming. I can't help but mentally try to soak in every ray of this unusually perfect day.


Today would have been my mother's 63rd birthday. She stopped celebrating her birthdays at 45, but as an avid celebrator, I always try to do something to remember her today.


Like the unpredictability of this Virginia winter, some years, the celebration is more significant – I go out to a nice dinner, and I watch her favorite movie (Charades, in case you are looking for a movie recommendation). These years feel sunny as if I can soak in all of the rays of the memories we shared during the 12 years we were together on earth. In other years, the day almost passes me by without any remembering. The memories, if they come, feel cold and dormant.

I want to be a person that remembers. I want every day to be filled with sunshine, even if the sun illuminates something heartbreaking. At least in the sun, there is warmth.

But, just like snowy days in February, these feelings are normal. This is what grieving is like. A distance that slowly grows. It is inevitable. Winter is inevitable. That doesn't make life any less beautiful.

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