Two years ago this month, Mom died. The second anniversary of Dad's death is in September. When my birthday came this year, I was depressed. It surprised me that the second birthday after their death was harder than the first. Last night, I got a phone call from Sister. She was sobbing. Today is her birthday. There are some stressful things going on in her life right now, and between those and the birthday, she was depressed. I met Sister and Short Niece for breakfast this morning near their home, then she headed to her school to finish cleaning up her classroom, and I headed to the outlet mall to do some shopping. The drive to see them was just over an hour, but it was worth it. I told Sister some details about her birth (she's 10 years younger than I am). I told her about the names under discussion for her.
Short Niece (6 years old and just finished first grade) is reading the Harry Potter books. Sister isn't sure that some of the later ones are appropriate for her, but Short Niece is on the third book and is devouring them. She told Sister that if they scared or bothered her, she'd stop reading.
That's one of the advantages of being closer to family. I get to see them more often. Sister and Short Niece are going to come visit this summer. We'll go to the zoo and do other fun things here in Capital. I'm looking forward to spending time with both of them.
When we parted, Sister was grateful. She thought her birthday was off to a good start. I'm sure the grief will hit again later. That's the thing about grief. Sometimes it surprises you.