I am writing this with a full, but very personal and idiosyncratic understanding of this subject, because today is my birthday. Though it is only 9 AM, I can say with the confidence gained from experiencing nine hours on my birthday so far, that it is not that bad. For me, although oftentimes my dad would be gone on my birthday morning, he would still be there later to give me my annual birthday squeeze and exclaim, “My big girl is ____ today!”
Yes, it is hard to not have your parent around for major milestones like Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and the like. But the absence is not always so bad. It’s not to say that I’m so busy that I don’t have time to think about him (as I thought would be the case), but that I’m happy because the thought of his memory occurs to me. Of course I wish he were here with me, especially on my birthday, but the memory of the little things he would do on my birthday brings me joy, along with nostalgia. So don’t dread your birthday, look forward to it as you would any other.