Thoughts on my birthday

Thoughts on my birthday.

I’m feeling so much love from my family and friends. I couldn’t make it without their support.

I went alone to get my biopsy results. It was lonely, sitting there all by myself in the doctor’s examining room, waiting to find out if the biopsy results were negative. Rick was always by my side for all those scary things. The biopsy was negative, no evidence of hyperplasia, come back in a year.

No one to hug and kiss in celebration. God, how I miss his giant, hard, embrace.

I went to Marsha’s for carryout breakfast. She had the boys in birthday hats and a sign on the wall.

Marsha wrote a wonderful tribute to me on Facebook:

Today is Gerry’s Birthday! She has been so many things to me: Aunt, friend, confidant, mother. She has held my hand through the ups and downs of life and helped me laugh, cry, and worry myself through it all. This year I witnessed her go through terrible pain with a wisdom, strength, and sense of humor that had me in awe. Whenever I have to describe who she is to me to someone who doesn’t know, I always feel like there aren’t enough words to describe, like they’ll never understand that she’s not “just” my aunt. I have been so lucky to have her in my life. Happy Birthday! 😘🎂🎉

The picture of us was horrible. Lol. I hate my pictures so much.

I feel the pain, and then I don’t. I never know when it’s going to hit. I want to get out and try to forget, but then I can’t stand the idea of forgetting and want to be back in my cocoon, looking at your picture on the shelf across the room, under the blanket you loved so much – your “special blanket.”

God I miss you.

About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at

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