The One and Only 35,000-Day Celebration

In a previous post, I talked what I could do to celebrate my father’s 35,000th day because truly, such an astonishing number should not go unacknowledged. I finally decided on 35,000 KJBs (his initials), one to represent each of his days. Took me twelve hours to cut them out, but it was worth it to see a visual representation of all those days.


Other gifts were 35,000 “I love you”s from my sister, and 35,000 sequins to add sparkle to the day from my brother. (I covet those sequins. They are all different shapes and sizes, such as butterflies, flowers, stars, and teardrops, and definitely should add plenty of sparkle to . . . whatever. Any suggestions?)

More than anything, I got a kick out of making a deal over the day. I mean, really . . . how many 35,000-day celebrations have you attended? I have a hunch this was the one and only such party.



If you’d like to know how many days old you are, you can calculate it here: Decimal Birthday.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+

Grief: Counting Down to the First Anniversary

In three days it will be a year since the death of my life mate — my soul mate. I’ve been counting down the days with tears. I would have thought I’d have finished my weeping months ago, and for the most part I have, but here it comes again. I’ve been keeping busy, not wanting to drown in sorrow. In fact, I’ll be leaving in a few minutes to have lunch with friends. Like me, they lost their mates, and so their presence is a comfort. We’ll laugh and talk, and that will keep the tears at bay, but when I get back to the house, I’ll probably be sad again. And that’s okay. I’m finding that now, after a wave of intense grief, there is a backwash of peace.

The anniversary itself was supposed to have been a good day for me, not a celebration so much as an acknowledgement that I survived the year. And perhaps it will be a good day despite the upsurge in sorrow. My latest book, Light Bringer — the last one he helped me research and edit, the last one I read to him as I was writing it — will be published on his death day as a memorial to him (though the book itself won’t be available for another week or so). The book is his epitaph, his tombstone, the final resting place for our joint efforts. (There is one more book he influenced, but that book is only half finished, and I haven’t had the heart to work on it.)

During all this year, I haven’t been able to eat the foods we fixed together (with the exception of salads. Those I still can eat, though why, I don’t know since salads were a major component of our meals). So I thought a good sign of my healing would be to fix one of those meals I haven’t been able to eat. Today I am going to get the ingredients for his chili, and on the anniversary, I will cook a batch in his honor. I will probably watch a movie that he taped for us, which is what we always did on special occasions.

He would have enjoyed such a day. I wish with everything I have that he were here, but of course, if he were here, there would be no such anniversary to endure, to acknowledge, yes, even to celebrate.