1st-10th Birthday- I remember every year up until I was maybe between eight or ten years old; can’t fully remember. My mom would throw me a birthday party; party hats; marshmallows; candy; chips and other great party foods; an awesome cake; birthday presents; the whole shebang. I received Barbie Dolls and board games mostly for my birthdays during these years; I’m sure I received other stuff too but those are the only two I can remember. I guess my being so into birthdays are a result of this first decade of my life.
11th and 12th- Seem to be a blur; I don’t remember those birthdays at all.
13th- I remember I had no friends my age; but made friends with a 15 year old girl from my school who was very nice and a Christian; we had nothing in common but she was the only friend in my life at the time. She spent the day at my house for my birthday. It was kind of lame but it was all I had. So I took it.
14th- I don’t remember what happened then either.
15th- I remember feeling so lonely this day; at this time I had absolutely no friends and no one to share the day with. It was summer so I was home alone; can’t remember where my brother or sister was at the time but my mom was at work. I received a wonderful card and letter from my then pen pal from the Philippines and I watched Back Street Boys Videos on t.v and these two things brighten one of the loneliest birthdays I have ever had. I think I received a nice card from my mom that evening; so by the end of the day; I didn’t feel so bad.
16th- That 15th year of my life I made a friend; we had some things in common but she was kind of a bore; but God put her in my life for that moment; so I tried my best to be the best friend I could be to her. She spent my sixteenth birthday at my house; we chilled then we had lunch at a local (Barbados) fast food restaurant called Cheffette (awesome Burgers). It wasn’t much fun because we didn’t have much to talk about but I was glad I had someone with me never the less. My mom gave me a Backstreet Boys C.D for my birthday. I loved it and was so happy. I made the best of what I had and it was okay.
17th and 18th- I just don’t remember what I did; but I know I had a good time doing it.
19th- I think on that day; I had a quiet birthday; I had recently experienced a real ordeal that ultimately led to the break-up with my boyfriend of two years (who I did not love) and I was still feeling a little down about the ordeal (not the break-up); then a friend and knight in shining armor rescued me from more birthday sadness by bringing me one of the most beautiful presents I ever received; the sweetest greeting card with lovely words of friendship and three poetry books (2 by local writers); it’s another story but this gift started me on a new and wonderful path in life as a poet and ultimately magazine editor for a short-time. So this is definitely a significant moment in my life.
20th- Not sure, what happened but it must of been a good one.
21st- I had a small birthday thing at my mommy’s home (where I lived at the time); with my mom; siblings: Shane (17), Arriel (10), Tatyanna (4) and the man I loved (my first true and deep love). They sang me Happy Birthday; I blew out the candles; we ate cake; then I spent a few hours with my love before he went on home. That was really special to me.
22nd- The 21st year of my life; my love obliterated my heart; I lost myself for a bit and got into a rebound relationship; moved out my mother’s house into his mother’s house (long story) and unfortunately celebrated my birthday at low-volume there. That year my friend who took over as coordinator after me (I was coordinator for one year prior) of Barbados literary arts organization Voices: Barbados Writers Collective; invited me to be a feature (on my birthday) of the August Poetry Read-In; the theme (my idea) was called “Under construction,” so I nervously read 10 of my poems and my legs trembled behind the podium (performance anxiety) but I made it through and it was a success. That was a wonderful moment of joy and pride for me. We had cake which my friend bought to celebrate my joyous occasion; the entire group signed a card for me; my friend gave me a gift (which was a glass picture frame) and I got to take the rest of the left over birthday cake home. It’s only when I got home that reality hit. What the hell am I doing here; this is not my home. Later; another good friend gave me another nice artsy birthday present. All and all; it was a very happy birthday.
23rd- You would never believe what follow the 22nd birthday leading up to this one. As a birthday gift from my rebound boyfriend and the first one I ever lived with; he brought me a trip to visit another good friend in Trinidad and Tobago; I spent the entire September and half of October there; during this time I discovered myself and realized my life was going downhill and something had to change; when I arrived to Barbados; I realize I did not feel glad to be going home; because this was not my home; so I decided to move out and did it by the end of the week; I moved into my Great-Grandmother’s home; right next door to my mothers. Eventually I broke it off with the guy I never loved but for a while thought I did; this was the happiest most relaxed contented time of my life and I had almost nothing or no one. Then he returned; the man I once knew (thought I’d be married to someday) and broke up with for the chance to be with my first love (1yr and half ago). I was reluctant but eventually he made his way back into my life and my heart; we got married May 21st, 2005.
So this was my first birthday party in a long time and the first time I felt alive and loved in a long time. My entire Barbados family and friends came and to my surprise it was a full house and I was extremely happy and felt so special. I had a huge Spongebob birthday cake; received beautiful cards and some nice gifts and friends and family actually made speeches about me. It was great.
24th- I almost thought I’d have to spend my 24th birthday semi-alone and in an uncomfortable hospital bed but that wasn’t to be; thank God; the doctors released me and my 3 day old baby; the evening before. I was uncomfortable in a lot of ways but it was the greatest moment of simple happiness, thankfulness, appreciation and peace I have ever felt. I was so glad to finally be home with my husband and the newest little person in my life. My birthday was simple; he got me a cake with the number 24 on it and the people I love most in this world celebrated with me; my husband, daughter, mother, Shane, Arriel, Tatyanna and my mother’s husband. It was sweet.
25th- And finally I spent this one out of Barbados and into my new country (tell you where sometime in the future); here began a new season in my life. I had a small get together with people I hardly knew and my husband; then one year old daughter and my mother-in-law; I had a cake with the numbers 2 and 5 candles on it. My husband gave me a rose; a lovely card and a White Diamonds perfume. It was a very nice day.
Well; my life has taken me on an incredible journey of ups, downs and spin-arounds but I have taken it all in stride; joy; gratitude; high hopes and expectations; and I pray for many more good; great; fabulous; awesome; spectacular birthdays; mine and the people I love.