Ten years ago today my youngest daughter turned thirteen. Thirteen is a milestone birthday and I was excited for her and eager to celebrate it. It was a workday for me. I planned on making a special birthday dinner for her when I got home later that day. I don’t really remember what she chose for the meal but I remember the dessert. She didn’t want a cake. She wanted Mocha Chocolate Mousse Cups. This was my future pastry chef daughter, after all. It was and is her favorite. The day was hot and I remember wondering how the chocolate cups would hold up.
Ten years ago today was September 11, 2001, a day that all of us will remember forever. I watched the planes hit the towers from my office and wondered how I could possible find it in my heart to make the day special and happy for my beautiful daughter. It was a struggle.
I remember being torn between watching the television coverage and preparing her special birthday meal. And I remember trying to keep smiling for her when my heart was breaking for those who died that day.
It didn’t seem right to celebrate when so many people were suffering. But it didn’t seem right to choose death over life.
So I made the mousse cups and we sang happy birthday and she blew out the candles and she told me that she was changing her birthday to another day because she couldn’t bear to say that her birthday was also this dark day in American history.
It is ten years later and she is living in Chicago now, having recently moved there. She is busy doing stages in restaurants and waiting for a job offer. I don’t get to make a birthday dinner or dessert for her anymore. Last year when she was in Napa I sent those mousse cups in a box of dry ice. This year I sent balloons and confetti. I hope her day is happy.
Today I raise my glass and celebrate life!