1st Birthday Without You

July 20, 2018

Today I turn 40, today is my first birthday without my twin, Aily. I have a sick almost queasy feeling in my stomach, knowing that it just doesn’t feel right celebrating our birthday without her. I am heart broken all over again, feeling her loss deep in the depths of my soul. I have cried a lot this past week, knowing this day would be hard. I can’t even express how empty and lonely today feels.

This is a milestone birthday, the big 4-0, and boy were we going to celebrate!!! On the 19th, we were going to have a spa day, then have a 7 or 9 course dinner at The Herbfarm, and then stay at Willows Lodge in Woodinville. Our birthday, the 20th, would have been a chemo day, but we would have followed that with seafood lunch and shop till we drop!! After her diagnosis we said, “Fuck it, you only live once!! We don’t know how many birthdays we have left together, so let’s spoil the shit out of ourselves!!” Our last few birthdays, in between chemo and CT scans, we did everything we wanted and spent quality time with our family and friends.

We have this childhood photo from our 4th birthday party, that she had wanted to re-create:

me and aily 4th birthday


We even went out and bought similar dresses, sandals, the streamer rolls, and barbie dolls!!! One of our dear friends even went online and found us the ice-cream lip gloss necklaces like the ones in the photo. All we had to do was change the 4 to 40. I really wish we had had the time to re-create this photo, she was so excited for it. It never took much to keep us amused, especially when we were together.

I remember when we were younger, we wished we had separate birthdays, so we could have our own special day. As we got older, we loved celebrating our birthdays together, and wouldn’t have it any other way. As adults, every year (except the last few years, chemo and alcohol don’t mix well), we would always have a drink at midnight on the 20th whether we were together, or over the phone. I would give anything to spend one more birthday with her.

I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the family and friends who have taken the time to wish me a happy birthday, send me cards, gifts, or spend time with me. I am truly blessed and thankful for every single person in my life. I could not get through any of this without them. My family and friends are my life, they mean everything to me.

Aily, where ever you are, I hope you know how much I love you and miss you. Happy birthday sister bean!!! My only birthday wish is to one day be reunited and we will be together for all eternity!!! This birthday is not the same without you, none of them ever will be. Me loves you so much!!!


  1. Rowan · July 20, 2018

    Your first birthday party at Little Neck seemed so easy. It was summer, but not a bad summer day. Your Aunt Anna was annoyed at all the people who copped out and bought the new twins two identical party dresses.I told you how relieved I was to find a Fisher Price sale in the Macy’s Toy store in Herald Square. I always tried to get the two of you,not the same, but similar gifts. Though the Casio wrist watches were a lucky break when you were 6.

    We can’t have everyone that we love for all of our lives, no matter how much that we love them.That’s the way life is.

    Now that Aily’s suffering is ended, it’s time for you to let go of it as well. She is free, and so are you.

    Look around you and enjoy the daylight, even when it’s cloudy. And the rain when it rains. You’re entitled to enjoy life and we all want you to. I believe that “we” includes Ailish. You know what she enjoyed, now you can enjoy it for her.

    And I still wonder how Grandma Isobel distributed her Fisher-Price haul in Belfast. Immediately or at Christmas. Life is full of questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dorothy Darrow · July 21, 2018

    I know it was a difficult day for you, especially so soon after Ailish’s passing. The pain will go deeper, but you will always have days when something slams you in the face. Take your time, heal, heal again. Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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