It’s My Birthday and I’ll Cry If I Want To

By: Bec Oates

The day of my birth, no doubt a glorious day in the history of mankind, is to be celebrated this day.

As one reaches… lets say… the later years… birthday thoughts change.

Birthday thoughts, birthday wishes, once consumed with party dresses and gift analysis, waft towards reflection and introspection.

I’ve had some great birthdays. Like the time my new pet bird Misty Blue escaped his cage 30 mins after my parents gave him to me. Or the time Mum decided to book me into the dentist to have 4 teeth removed on my birthday… because one can’t have crowded gums on their birthday. Perhaps my favourite birthday was my 40th, when I told my husband not to buy me a gift or make a fuss… so he didn’t.

But even having had such a stellar birthday history, there was one other birthday in particular that will forever be my favourite.

My birthday in India.

3 years ago, I spent my birthday in India. We were in an area of North Bengal called Baharampur. It was hot. I was with my precious kids and husband, sitting on a concrete floor, sweating our butts off, eating rice with our hands, and I remember smiling and thinking, thank you Lord, thank you for this day.

You see, we had tried to move to India for the previous 5 years. It rolls off the keyboard… 5 years… but they were long, hard, desperate, agonising years. We sold/dismantled my business, we sold our possessions, we sold our house, I even had an organ removed for flips sake. We could not, I repeat, could NOT have tried harder.

And I got to celebrate my birthday in a place that stole my heart. With people that stole my heart.

And I hope I never recover.

Banging on about poor people can be such a buzz kill.

But it’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to.

Why? Because she doesn’t have a birthday.

She won’t wake up to eggs on toast, she will wake up to an empty stomach and the prospect of rape being the only currency with which she can buy food.

She doesn’t receive a gift wrapped with care, she is purchased, for less than the price of my birthday card, and discarded like wrapping paper on the floor.

She isn’t celebrated, loved, cherished, she is invisible, lonely, wretched.

She doesn’t live, she salves through a horrid existence.

I see her. I feel her. I love her.

I want to see her, I want to feel her, I want to love her.

It’s easier not to. It’s easier to blur my vision.

Why think on such things? Why bring her plight into such sharp focus?

Because it’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to.

I cry for you, precious girl. I rage at the injustice, the evil that enslaves you.

I want to scream, I want freedom to rain down on you, cleansing you, restoring you, bringing you life.

I want to hold your hand, to stroke your hair, to wash your feet.

I want the spirit of the living God to rage against your oppressors, even if your oppressor is me.

I want to beg for your forgiveness.

I want to do you the honour of looking you in the eye, that’s my birthday wish.

Because it’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to.

Article supplied with thanks to Bec Oates.

About the Author: Bec Oates is a blogger who doesn’t fit into one category, but is personable, relate-able and honest


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