He would have awakened me with a cup of coffee and said, "Come on, my love, let's walk in the garden to greet my birthday."
He enjoyed his birthday, and in true Gayland fahion, often used it as an occasion to help others. He would invite people to a party and ask that they not bring gifts, but donations to Planned Parenthood, or to a group working against the death penalty, or to the Humane Society.
He's been gone more than 800 days, so you'd think some of the rough edges of grief would have worn down.
But life does go on.
Some months ago, when it became clear that my ancient dachshund gentleman Mr. Carson had had a stroke and had to be gently helped into a peaceful death, one of my coworkers sent me a spectacularly beautiful orchid with multiple spikes of blooms. It was a sweet gesture of sympathy from another dachshund lover.
I enjoyed the blooms for weeks, but resigned myself to the fact that the orchid was doomed, for I have no gift with orchids. But I faithfully followed the directions of more knowledgeable friends, and it stayed alive.
And then two nubs appeared that began to grow into obvious potential blooms.
I was astonished, but dubious that these nubs would ever open into full flower. But when I looked at it this morning, one had, just in time for Gayland's birthday. I had to laugh.
You can donate the old fashioned way by mailing a check to :
4Saints Food Pantry,
4301 Meadowbrook Dr.
Fort Worth, Texas 76103
or use the Venmo app @Four-SaintsFood.
Gayland would love that he might have a part in feeding hungry people.
Now to get through this day.
Happy birthday, my love. I miss you so.