on the other side of the border in beautiful Boucherville, Québec, but I still turned 39 on Tuesday despite my best efforts to avoid the whole affair. Birthdays can be difficult days under the best of circumstances, but are complicated exponentially if you grew up in any sort of institutional care or in foster and/or adoptive constructs. Birthdays, like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, and a slew of other dubious and official holidays, simply hammer home the loss for me -- The loss experienced by mothers forced to relinquish their children and the loss of identity experienced by their sons and daughters once we were caught in the undertow of a wildly imperfect system.
This birthday, however, felt different.
I woke up in the arms of a wunnerful new man and flew across the St. Lawrence with him as we drove through Montréal's early morning traffic. After we had coffee together in La Gare Centrale and he went off to work, I bought copies of Le Devoir, The Globe & Mail , La Presse, and The National Post to bring to JoAnn's later in the week to read over waffles and more coffee out on her palatial front porch. (Have I mentioned that I love coffee? It's true.)
I rode the rails back to Albany slightly overwhelmed by all of the positive changes that have taken place in my life in the last couple of months (none of which would have been possible without the love and support of all of my incroyable friends from coast-to-coast). You know who you are and I can't thank you enough (even though I keep trying). To that end, I took an old friend out for a fantastic Thai birthday meal before meeting up with JoAnn to roam through the night reclaiming what we could from the curb (more on that haul later).
True, I'm a little bit older and I'm still searching for my brother, but I'm looking forward to this summer in a way that I haven't in years.
[Image Credits: Top photo taken by the aforementioned wunnerful new man before he took me to Cirque de Soleil's production of OVO and the second photo, of the interior of La Gare Centrale, was borrowed from Wikipedia.]