She was uncomfortable, I think, because her birthday fell on the 8th of a month,
I think, though, that my mom was secretly pleased when one acknowledged her birthday and made her feel special. After all, she was the only "child" left of three (her other brother had died as a toddler, succumbing to a mysterious illness during the war when medical help was scarce).
Interestingly, I have adopted her approach. March 30 brings a level of discomfort for me, as I am so overwhelmingly emotionally reminded -- especially now that I am myself a mother -- of the phsycial separation a birthday symbolises in mother and child(ren). After all, I lost my own mom twice: Once when I was removed from her warm, safe womb at birth, and again as her soul floated away on December 22, 1994, after a long and draining battle with cancer (I was 21 years old).
Although I would not argue with those who consider me extreme in my apparent need for attention, when it comes to my birthday, I would almost prefer it be a secret, hidden matter, concealed from any who might discover its associated pain and unresolved distress. The fabric of my pre-orphan life is shrouded by the veil of such reminders as birthdays, and in some ways, I prefer it to remain that way.
On her last birthday, I offered my bald mother a hat. It could be fashioned into one of 8 styles, and worn according to one's fashion inclinations.
She never wore it.