Tomorrow I will reach my grand 66th birthday. That is really hard to believe because I feel it should be my 39th birthday.
No! No! No! That would mean I had to go through peri-menopause again, so lets forget 39. Maybe I’ll choose 45.
Then again, that was the year my body added twenty pounds in my sleep. I went to bed fairly in shape and woke up like a stuffed, cream donut. I’m not sure how that happened, but my face also got puffy along with my thighs. My body betrayed me! Yet, I continued to nurture and feed it. I am a caretaker by nature. Hot flashes arrived and a cranky woman took over my body. Bio-identical hormones entered the picture and boy was that fun!
A few tough years followed. My Mom passed away and I entered the Orphan Club. I am not a fan of that club. It’s the strangest feeling not to have that connection. There were many tears and regrets during those years. Eventually, I realized that my Mom would not be happy with my moping. There was never time for tears or sadness. I needed to get busy and do something…anything!
Before I knew it, I turned 50. What???? Me? 50? I was still dancing and enjoying life. My laugh lines increased. We decided to relocate to St Pete, FL to enjoy the rest of our days. We sold the houses and the business and off we went with a dog in the back seat. A POD would greet us when we arrived with all of our belongings. Scott developed his “two knives, two forks, two spoons” decree. He didn’t even want to get a comfortable sofa. Someone would surely need a place to crash and disrupt our nirvana.
Life began to speed up. Before I realized it, 55 rolled around. Scott’s parent had to be moved to Florida for care and that was a whirlwind. Daily trips from nursing home to assisted living facility and back again every blessed day. One month we spend six hundred dollars on gas. It took a toll on us. I remember Scott asking ,”What’s for dinner?” I broke down in tears. “I can’t do everything!” I babbled. We hadn’t learned to take care of ourselves yet. So let’s not go back to 55.
Looking at 60, life was charmed. My first granddaughter arrived and she was pure joy! I swear she winked at me when I first held her. Before we knew it another baby arrived. This time it was a grandson. Then again, another granddaughter and yet another grandson. The early 60 years were full of fun. We had babies everywhere! Visiting with them was like Christmas morning every visit. I thanked God for giving me the strength not to strangle my kids as teenagers. I’d forgotten all the nights peering out the window, hours past curfew, praying they’d come home safe. I would have missed these beautiful babies if God didn’t make me fall asleep on the couch , while they snuck in the house.
64 was such a good year. It was so good I did it twice. I sang Paul McCartney’s “Will you still need me …Will you still feed me- When I’m sixty four.” I snapped my fingers as I sang. I sang it all the way through my 65th year. I didn’t realize I’d gained another year. I’m not sure how I missed it, but it was quite shocking. The 64th and 65th years were filled with laughter and memory loss. I couldn’t find the glasses on my head, the purse on my shoulder, or the husband next to me in bed. Every day was a hide and seek game. I’d go to the grocery store and come home with everything that was NOT on my list….if I remembered to bring the list.
And so on the eve of my 66th year, I am going to enjoy this year fully. I’ll laugh more, watch more sunsets, bring my list shopping, spend time with people who bring me joy, and kiss my husband more….if I can find him!