It’s Saturday morning and I’ve just sat down for my first cup of coffee for the day. The sky is clear outside and the sun is shining. It’s early for me, I woke up out of a deep sleep around 7:30 am and decided to get up for the day.
Yesterday was my birthday and it was pretty low key. I was overly emotional and I don’t know why. I think part of it is what’s going on in Europe. My family is from Europe and so, it’s hitting pretty hard. It brings up a lot of feelings about why my family moved to Canada. I wrote about it yesterday and then deleted it because it’s not my story to share.
I decided to say “screw it” for eating healthy for the weekend. I deserved a treat. I ordered a small grocery order in from Walmart and bought a small black forest cake. It’s a cake that we used to eat often at family dinners.
I lazed around all day, did some writing and then headed to my dad’s at six pm. We had a nice visit. His memory goes in and out. Towards the end of the visit he asked me what day it was. “Is it the 25th today?” he asked me. I nodded, and had already told him it was my birthday. “Your sister told me it was the 25th. Happy birthday.” And that made me tear up.
It was close to 8:30 by the time I got home but I wanted to wait until he fell asleep. I told him I loved him, over and over again so he would remember. At one point he said, “Thanks, I needed that.” They lost his hearing aids, so I don’t know how much he got out of the conversation. But he knew he missed me. I couldn’t get to him for two weeks because of my knee.
I ordered in some McD’s, which of course, made me feel sick after. Had a piece of cake. Responded to a slew of texts and messages on Facebook. This time I just did a generic message because I’ve been feeling pretty down. The cake was delicious. I’m going to have another piece. It’s a tiny personal cake which is just fine for one person.
Being single means buying your own food and cake. This was the first time I had done something like that, and it felt good. I’m 45 now, I can do whatever the fuck I want to do.
As for disability benefits, I had a follow up call on Thursday with my case manager. The good thing is she realizes the gravity of my illness. She said we’ll see how your appointment goes. If you eventually can get to a place where you can return to work, or if it comes down to improving quality of life, we can help you with that too. I admitted to her that it was more about quality of life. I’ve given up the notion of finding any employer who would hire me given my absence history. I can’t go back to government work. Nor do I want to.
And so, this birthday, felt a little heavier. I’m missing my mother terribly. I’m missing my dad. He’s still here, but it’s not him anymore. And for the first time last night in a long time, I questioned my decision about living alone and staying single. Sometimes I just miss having someone to talk to everyday.
So, here’s to me. At 45. One year closer to 50.
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