Day 18: Six and a Half

Fun fact: I used to be a weeee bit more obsessed about half-birthdays than the average person. I remember making a big deal out of the halfway mark between this age and the next. From January 9th to July 9th of every year, I would no longer simply say, “I’m five!” when people asked me, but rather, “I’m five and a HALF!” or, “I’m almost six.” January 9, 2010, was no different. I woke up that day, and as soon as I looked at the calendar and realized the date, I perked up and boasted to my sisters that I was now six and a half. The next day, January 10, was also a special day – it was MOMMA’s half-birthday! She used to always tell me that I was an early present for her 43rd birthday. On the night of Momma’s 49th half birthday, she was feeling a bit stronger, so she and I celebrated by sneaking in treats to her room, though Momma couldn’t eat any of them. I sat on her bed, her oxygen tank next to us, and we played games and laughed together until I had to head to bed. It was a sweet memory and one that I remember from time to time, especially when these two days roll around.

Yesterday, I turned sixteen and a half, but I didn’t even realize it until the end of the day. Half years are hardly anything more to me now than an arbitrary and irrelevant addition to an age that I’ll still be for six more months. But a person turning six and a half does have some significance to me now. Over the past few years, as more and more little kids with loving parents I know turn that fateful age, I find myself thinking about how when I reached that stage of life, I was about to lose my mom. I think about how much character those children have, even though most of them haven’t yet hit first grade. In just two years, my eldest niece will also reach that point in her life, and I already love who she is so much. This bittersweet thought is yet another reminder to me that while I may have been young when she died, and while I may not remember her very well, she still loved me with all her heart. Even at six and a half, I was still the sassy and silly and spunky and sweet Sara Joy that I am today, and Momma knew it.  

-Sara Joy

~ by Sara Espiritu on January 10, 2020.

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