Brett’s dying would forever change the way I looked at everything. Life, the future, my children and not only my birthday but everyone’s birthdays that first year.
I remember as his time in the hospital grew longer and I knew he was dying but hoping and pleading he wouldn’t, I told my friend “He won’t die on my birthday, he wouldn’t do that to me…” as if any of this was ever within our control, what arrogance. But he didn’t, he didn’t die on the day but rather a day before and all I know now is that I don’t even want the day mentioned. I stopped celebrating my birthday the day before I turned 38, if only the birthday’s had stopped coming.
We are all marked by a birthday and inevitably a death-day, and I can’t help but wonder if the Universe didn’t simply just want us bound deeper than we already were. I still look for reasons and signs for everything, it is simply in my nature to question and really I would so desperately like an explanation. What is the point of another year, more wisdom (one hopes), fine lines that turn to creases, and hair that turns silver? In the end we all become a memory and if you are lucky you remain a true one, not one that did it all perfectly.
It has been a hell of an 18 months. I learned how to stand on my own two feet with a ton of emotional support and very little hand holding, yes, there is a difference. A least there is a difference in my world. My circle of friends has evolved, I’m friends with people that I would have never considered more than an acquaintance in the past while some have faded into the background as oer the norm and some have chosen to leave and some I simply walked away from. I’ve done a lot of walking. I walked away from a 14 year career that took me twenty years to build and in the end I don’t know if I will be ok, but still today and in that moment it was the right decision and one that I had to make. I learned a lot about me, my friends, society, women and men.
Today I find myself half way around the world in Delhi India, in a stifling heat with two kids in tow. Both last year and this year I’ve been wished a happy half birthday and as I reflect, all I can say for certain is, I miss my life. The closest around me know it and try to help me see the good, like perhaps celebrating a half vs a full birthday, and for them…all of them I am so very grateful. I continue my journey of self discovery but what I really want is to be home-sick. I want to miss one thing, anything that makes me want to go home! The house I live in, the way of life without Brett. Unfortunately I am so fucking adaptable that I can make anywhere work, but my kids need to be home. They need to feel normal in their known surroundings with their normal things while I suffocate in that world. My comfort? I have 4 years and 10 months until Elle, the youngest graduates, goes to college and I sell the house.
When I turned 39, the only thing I hoped for was that it would be better than 38. 38 brought widowhood and unemployment! What would 39 bring? First and foremost my own company, I launched Mayer-Hack companies. Best described as a company with diverse subsidiaries. One such being health/wellness programs and education. I assist individuals and businesses implement wellness programs to improve or maintain health or loose weight.
The second thing that 39 brought was acceptance into an MBA program.
Finally, it also brought travel. As soon as school let out this past June, I packed a tent, 3 cots with sleeping bags and an empty cooler. We had clothes for about 7 days and off we went. 19 nights, 6,000 miles and 9 states later, we came home. Not once was I homesick! It was actually the opposite, I dreaded getting home. Now, three weeks before the start of the school year we are in India.
What do I hope to find? Me.