My birthday was on Sunday… For those of you who know me, I am fifty-three. To those who don’t, I am forty-five (I think I can get away with forty-five on a good day). Once upon a time I used to lie about my age. I was a teenager when I did this. I would tell people I was one year older. Instead of being fifteen, I would tell people I was (wait for it…) sixteen. To me, sixteen meant you were no longer a child.
I am unfazed by this birthday. I am happy to be alive. As I type this, my 93 year old Grandmother might be transferred to hospice. I say “might be” because she is not strong enough to be transferred. In reality, she is the the process of terminal agitation, which doctors state is common at the end of life. I want her suffering to stop. She has not been the Grandmother I knew for many years. I love my Grandmother and she loved me. She was one of my best friends (at one point she was my only friend). Things became complicated between us and we did not handle our relationship with the deep love and care we had for one another. We handled things in the way our family historically handled things… with silence and distance. The story is too long and personal to elaborate in a blog post but there was a happy ending. In July, when I went to visit her I knew it would be for the last time. We held hands the entire time and smiled at each other. We said, I love you. People ask me if I want to go and say goodbye in these last days (or perhaps weeks) of her life. The short answer..no. The long answer: My Grandmother is no longer here; her soul is in transition and the vessel that held it is in Montefiore Hospital. Correction… a part of her soul is in me and the remaining members of my family. I see her every day along with several other lost relatives that are in photographs on my mantle. It is the way I prefer to remember her (aside from the July visit). This is my way of handling it. If it doesn’t vibe with your philosophy, so be it…
Which brings me to my birthday. The day before I walked 20,419 steps (9.45 miles) through Stone Mountain Park. I felt every step in my body the next day – the only real sign of my fifty three years. All I wanted was a home cooked meal and to watch the season premiere of Doctor Who. I did not want a party, I did not want gifts (I am trying to remove stuff from my life). I kind of wanted a cake but I am attempting to live a cleaner life (and I did not ask for one). Present were the love of my life, my Father with our complicated (but loving) relationship and his wife Mishon, who is a dear friend and mentor; and who provided a Senegalese traditional meal called Ceebu Jen – also called Theboudienne. That was all I needed… Coincidentally, my Mother’s birthday is next Monday and my Father’s birthday is nine days after my Mother’s (all in October). I will refrain from giving their ages (think diamonds), however, I aspire to live my life similar to the best parts of their lives if (hopefully, when) I reach their age.
Today’s Mixtape is a gift from hubby Matcha021. Yes, I still receive the occasional mixtape from my true love after twenty years of friendship and seventeen years of marriage. When we were first in love, I received them all of the time. He created a mixtape CD as a wedding favors for our guests (the CD cover was designed by my talented Mother). The music on this mixtape represents some of my favorite songs and also reflects my hubby’s love for me. I hope you enjoy it and while you are at it, follow him on Mixcloud and share (enjoy) his love for music.
Sidebar two: I have been on a “sabbatical” from writing for four months. I think I have stored up enough thoughts to fill up a book (or at least the infinite amount of words allowed in a blog). Stay tuned and, if you like what you are reading, pass it on. Hell, if you don’t like what you are reading pass it on anyway, I welcome comments but save the negativity (unless it is constructive).