Every year on my birthday, I can’t help but think about a memory from my very sad past.
I couldn’t have been more than eight years old. I can’t remember where we went, but I do remember my parents and I were coming home to one of the back-houses we used to live in. We were poor and didn’t have much, but for some reason I got a birthday cake that year.
There was no celebration, no happiness – just a cake. I climbed onto a seat at the table, a candle was lit, and then everyone left the room. As my mom was leaving, she told me to sing happy birthday to myself.
So there I was. A little kid, alone in the dark, with a cake that had a single candle burning upon it, singing happy birthday to myself, and no one around to hear it.
I’m not sure what I wished for, if I even wished for anything, but I don’t think it came true.