4th Birthday Without You

July 20, 2021

I cannot believe this is the 4th birthday without her. It feels like only yesterday we were celebrating our 39th birthday together, not knowing it would be the last. Aily passed away a little over a month before our 40th. I am not going to lie, it still feels wrong celebrating this day without her. Our birthday is now my birthday, and it will never be the same. I wish I could say it gets easier each year, but it doesn’t. It’s an annual reminder that I am alone, that every year I get older, she is not with me, we will not be growing old together. It is truly sadistic and cruel to bring two lives into this world together, and not have them leave together. Not only did she suffer through cancer, but her life was cut far too short. My life will never be the same without her, I am forced to live without my other half, and I am left behind. What the fuck kind of shit is that? It’s a soul sucking pain, immense emptiness, and profound sadness I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.  I don’t have my rock, who helps ease my anxiety, gets me through life’s ups and downs, and always knows the right thing to say to make me feel better, in any situation. Lord knows when my anxiety spirals, it FUCKING spirals. There were times when she didn’t even need to say a word to me to make me feel better. We just knew that we always had each other’s back and that was sometimes all I needed. But her words always comforted me, always gave me confidence to pick myself up, and to reassure me that everything was gonna be okay. The silence is deafening…devastatingly fucking deafening.

I thought this year’s birthday post would be a little less depressing, angry, and melancholy as last years, but I guess not. As I have said many times before, today is one of the hardest days of the year for me, and I guess I am just going to have to accept that and be okay, with not being okay. I do feel like a broken record sometimes, saying the same sad depressing shit over and over, but this is my blog, my therapy, my truth. I am still in shock sometimes, because we always thought that for whatever reason, I would die before her. I was always the sickly one, all the health issues, and I guess we just assumed that I would be the first to go, even though we always secretly wanted us to go together. Selfishly, as morbid as it sounds, it was a comfort to me to think that I would die first, that I wouldn’t ever have to know what it was like to be without one another. As we all know by now, Reality, bitch slapped me in the face, and the universe had other plans. Is it weird to talk about death on my birthday? Perhaps, but I have been forced to face my own mortality given the circumstances, and I guess I am genuinely surprised that I am the one still here. Also, because of our genetic test results, I get stomach cancer screening tests annually and bi-annually. I am in the middle of awaiting results on a few and waiting to get more tests done. I can’t help but wonder sometimes if I will face the same fate one day. Now that would be some majorly fucked up shit….just saying.

Now that I got all that shit off my chest…I do want to thank everyone who reaches out to me on my birthday. I do have an amazing family and network of friends who have always been here for me, and I am forever grateful. I do feel incredibly lucky and fortunate to have each and every one of you, even if I don’t always feel I deserve so much love and support. I have already been taken out for an early birthday dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in ABQ, thank you Jono, it was delicious and wonderful to spend time with you. I know how busy you are right now, and it means so much that you take the time out to celebrate with me. This may be a shitty hard day for me, but I am trying to find the joy and want to try celebrating it for both of us. Like I have said before, I fall apart when I am alone, and this blog helps get all the grieving and sadness out of my head and heart; hopefully making room to find new happiness with each passing year.

My dearest Aily,

Happy birthday. I miss you so much, more than you could ever know. I was the luckiest person in the whole world to share this special day with you and I hate more than anything that we are not able to celebrate it together anymore. I just want you to know how much you were loved, how much I would have given my life for yours. I am so fucking sorry I couldn’t save you. I am sorry I couldn’t stop the pain and suffering; I am sorry when we fought because I was scared and didn’t fully know everything you were feeling and got upset when you wouldn’t eat. I am sorry I wasn’t always the best sister, I tried, God knows I tried. I know I am not perfect, and I still stumble from time to time, but I am doing my hardest to be a good person and make you proud. Needless to say, I am still fucked up in the head and my heart is still broken, but I do try, I try to be happy. Jesus, how many times I have needed you in this past year alone, how many times I needed you to tell me everything is gonna be okay, cause it sure feels like my world is crumbling and falling apart at times. I try to be as strong as you were, I remember your courage and strength and it gives me hope that I can overcome all the bullshit.

I was going through my laptop and stumbled upon this picture of a quote you had in your phone. I have gone through these pictures a thousand times since you died and for some reason, I just saw this today….

I am definitely not the same person as before; I never will be. But I know somehow, I will make it through. I want more than anything to be with you again someday and that’s the only thing I have to hold on to and gives me the will to get through each year that passes by without you. Me loves you, me loves you so much!!! Vani

This is 43…I keep getting older while Aily will always be young, beautiful, and in her late 30’s.

Sorrento Beach in Australia…yes I always mess up a good picture ha ha


  1. Dorothy Darrow · July 20

    You are a great sister and did everything you possibly could for Ailish.
    Sending you massive hugs.
    Ailish will always be in your heart.


  2. Dorothy Darrow · July 20

    Oh, 43 is not old and you are beautiful.
    Just saying.


  3. Jono · July 20



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