And filled me with gratitude for roommates who would make her day feel special and send me posts along the way.
She wasn't here at home to be celebrated but the day wasn't lost on us. I remembered pregnancy exhaustion and trying my best to induce labor by walking the school track just steps from where she now lives.
I was a baby having a baby.
I couldn't help but think about her every minute of the day, a big girl living out her life in the same place I brought that very little girl home to our first apartment.
We sent a birthday in a box and a few small gifts. It didn't seem enough.
We hung our traditional banner and called her via FaceTime to sing and eat a piece of cake virtually.
Later in the quiet, Newel called me from whatever city he was in at the time. Teary, I asked him if the future held lonely birthdays where I'd eat cake solo and reminisce the past.
"No," he said, "Because I'll eat cake with you and remember every great moment."
And my heart ached for a wonderful day gone by when two became three ... one day to be nine. A life full together and memories held close when those deeply loved seem very far away.