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Some thoughts on loss and adulthood.

So I dumped red wine all over my daughter’s homework that I was supposed to check for her, and figured the best way to respond to that was to refill my glass, so take it for what it’s worth. You get what you pay for etc. etc. etc. So there’s adulthood tip #1, don’t drink around homework. Except, that’s the only way to get through it. So, I don’t know.

Tomorrow I turn 47 and wow. That’s old. That’s like LATE 40s old. That’s some SERIOUS MIDDLE AGED SHIT RIGHT THERE. I remember when my dad turned 50, he said to me, “I always thought when I was 50, I’d be old, but I’m still just me.” And I was like, “DADDY YOU ARE OLD. YOU ARE 50.”

And yet, here I am. Honestly, I really thought I’d die by 22, and certainly tried my hardest to make it happen, but here I am, and now here we are. Late 40s. Middle age. Minivan. Mortgage. Aging parents and teenaged kids. What. The. Fuck. It’s not that I have an issue with aging. Honestly, I really don’t. It’s just, it’s all such ordinary aging. 

I like to spend time around my birthday pondering the previous year, and thinking about what I’ve learned, and where I am. And wow. This past year has been *hard*. I’ve struggled significantly with mental health issues, my own and in my family. All around me are signs of my own, and others’, mortality. Friends with cancer. Someone dear to me with Alzheimer’s. A child drowning. I said to someone today, in the wake of the announcement of Jay’s death, if there’s one thing adulthood has taught me, it’s how to grieve. When I was young, mid-twenties, I had a 3 month period where I lost 7 people, to everything from old age to cancer to suicide. Crash course in grief, baby. Like most folks my age, I’ve lost people. My friend who drank himself to death. My friend with pancreatic cancer. My two friends currently - one just finished chemo for breast cancer, the other who’s living with the cancer time bomb. My own tiny bouts of skin cancer (NOTE TO SELF: CALL THE FUCKING SURGEON MONDAY). I remember when my last living grandparent died and I felt it viscerally, that moment of moving up a generation. 

Wow, this is getting bleak, that’s not where I meant to go. Loss is a part of life. It’s fucking guaranteed. We live long enough, we’ll lose people we love. And yet. And yet. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I thought, at 22, that I wanted to die. That my story was over. That I had nothing left to live for. And I had no idea, NO FUCKING CLUE about the riches that awaited me, because I held on. Because I didn’t give in. And you know what? I wouldn’t change it for the world, none of the grief, none of the loss, none of the pain I’ve borne. 

Because I love, you see. I love my family, quite passionately, for all that they make batshit crazy. Regularly. I love my husband madly. I love my parents and the family I was born to, for all their limitations and flaws. I love my In-Laws (and honestly, I won the fucking in-law lottery). I love my family of choice - my friends. And that includes my friends in the virtual world. So many of *you*. Because in the end, it’s the love that we receive and the love that we give that makes everything, every fucking thing, worth it. And I don’t think it matters who or what we love - whether it’s our pets, our children, our friends, our fandom. Just. Just love, darlings. As much as you can. Because life is short, as we were reminded today. Life can be too fucking short to waste on anything other than great big, crazy, wonderful, infuriating love.

And I’m so fucking thankful, every single day - for you, for your love and support and presence in my life. And I hope I give back to you half of what you give to me.

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‘Morning, sleeping beauty.’

If Vax had a smartphone it would filled with questionable pictures of his hubby.