You could be at your vanity on a beautiful spring morning, getting ready for the day, look down and notice that your coffee cup is less than half full, and decide to go downstairs to get more. On the way down the stairs you might stop and stare at your empty hands, turn, run back up the stairs to get the coffee cup that is still sitting next to the sink, exactly where you left it when you noticed it was half empty and decided to fill it up.
Later, you might reach into the shower and turn on the water, noticing that you need to get a new bottle of shampoo out of the closet. You could turn to get the shampoo right that instant -- you could -- but instead you might let your mind drift to the time a few months earlier when you were at the store and decided to buy two bottles of shampoo instead of just one. This then leads to thoughts of buying in bulk. At stores like Sam's Club and Costco. Which leads to thoughts of Seinfeld and a carriage ride that is ruined because Rusty was fed the ginormous can of baked beans that Kramer bought at the wholesale club. You might then smile at your silly Seinfeld memory, then brush your teeth. When you're done brushing your teeth, you might get into the shower. After a few minutes you might want to wash your hair. But can't. Because the second bottle of shampoo that you were so organized to buy months ago is still in the closet. Far, far out of your reach.
Shower complete, you might be back at your vanity blow drying your hair, worrying about your memory. You suddenly remember what you forgot this very day one year ago. Your stepfather's birthday. You remember that you didn't remember that you completely forgot until the morning of April 17th. You remember calling the florist and having them deliver a peace lily to his office. Hoping he'd get the joke. You remember his phone call later that afternoon thanking you for the plant, and telling you not to worry that you forgot. Joking that he'd rather forget too.
All dressed, you go out into the backyard and snip every daffodil you have, low on the stem. You come back inside and rummage through the junk drawer until you find the blue ribbon that you are sure you put inside the drawer last time you used it. You find it. It's a miracle. You then tie the blue ribbon into a big, drapey bow around the beautiful bouquet of white and gold daffodils.
Forty-five minutes later at the cemetery, you insert the daffodil bouquet into the vase your mother has just spent a half hour working into the ground. You talk about the cards you would give him year after year on his birthday. With sentiments like...
You are so old, the candles on your birthday cake raised earth's temperature by 3 degrees.
You are so old, when you were a kid rainbows were black and white.
You are so old, you walked into an antique shop and they sold you.
You smile, thinking after he'd read the cards, he'd say, "Ha, ha. Very funny! You're a laugh a minute."
You stare at the flowers, at the ground, at the sky, at the headstones in the distance and the ones near his grave. Then decide it's time to leave.
Walking away, you realize you forgot to say Happy Birthday. So you turn back towards him and say it quietly, thinking how much he'd love it that you remembered.