Turning 40

Yesterday I celebrated my fortieth birthday. Forty trips around the sun. Forty years of trying to figure out who I am and what I believe.

I had originally planned to write a post about being more aware of my mortality, accepting the reality that I will never have children, and how something on my body hurts almost every single day, but after gathering with a large group of friends Saturday evening to ring in my fifth decade, I realized I am far too blessed to be complaining about the little things.

My mother planned a birthday lunch for me on Friday, where I joined my sister, niece, nephews, and grandmother for pizza, cake, and ice cream.

Honey worked very hard to pull off a surprise party for me at one of my favorite restaurants on Saturday. I thought we were only meeting 3 or 4 people for dinner, so it was wonderful to walk in and see a long table filled with friends with big smiles on their faces! We talked and laughed throughout the meal, and then traveled to Betty’s for cake and ice cream.

Sunday brought a lunch with church friends, tons of text messages with birthday wishes, and visits from family. More celebrating will come tonight when we visit another friend’s house for dinner. I will probably have gained 10 pounds by the time the festivities conclude.

I truly have so much to be grateful for. I am happy with my career, my home, and my partner. Not only was it the week to celebrate my birthday, it has also been 9 years since I met the love of my life. I can’t imagine living without him, and I hope I never have to.

At the risk of raising the ire of the universe, I am content. Here’s to another forty trips around the sun…

Blogbits

Windowgate 2011 – The newest set of windows are installed and look fantastic! This installer seemed to really know what he was doing, and even though we went with the same window brand the second time around, they were sized correctly and the house is even quieter.

Kindle – Honey gave me a Kindle e-reader for my birthday last week, and he was really happy to actually be able to surprise me for once. I absolutely adore the thing. The first book I chose to download is currently in the top spot on Amazon – Water for Elephants. The writing is brilliant, so I’m wondering how the recently-released movie bearing the same name will compare. Books are typically much better, aren’t they?

Birthday – We celebrated my birthday so many times over the past week that I’m a little scared to get on the scales, but I felt very loved throughout the various lunches, dinners, and parties. I am fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

Tick-tock

I turned 37 this week. It was, without a doubt, the most difficult birthday that I’ve had thus far. Tears were falling when I went to bed the night before, and still streaming down my cheeks as I drove to work the next morning. Nothing had happened to upset me, but this anniversary of my birth caused me to reflect on my life in ways that I found uncomfortable and depressing.

We all have an idea of how we think our life will go – sort of a road map for getting from youth to old age. Most of us follow a path that closely resembles those taken by our parents. Education, a career, marriage, children, grandchildren, retirement, growing old with someone we love. I realized early on that my life would be much different than that of my parents, my sibling, and my friends. I thought I was okay with that, but the older I get the more I feel that I’m missing out on some of the amazing experiences that so many people take for granted.

I worry that I will die childless and alone. It torments me that at the age of thirty-seven I’m still not married and don’t have any children. When I first met my partner back in 2005, I remember telling him that I firmly believed gay marriage would be a reality within five years. Wishful thinking on my part. I am beginning to wonder if we will ever be able to get legally married in our lifetime.

I read once that a person becomes aware of their homosexuality and infertility simultaneously. Where straight couples might “accidentally” discover themselves expecting a child, same-sex partners understand that reproduction will be virtually impossible. Regardless of the various available options, it really pisses me off that no matter how much time and money we spend trying to expand our family, I will never be able to look at our child and see a combination of our features. Our child might have Honey’s chin or my eyes, but it won’t have both. Not that those things really even matter, but there has to be an element of comfort in knowing part of you will live on in your children long after you’ve left this world.

It still amazes me that people think homosexuality is a choice. As if anyone in their right mind would choose a life so full of hardship, despair, and disappointment. Even so, I know that I am one of the lucky ones. I have an amazing man to share my life with – someone who knows my faults and loves me in spite of them. I have a great job, a lovely place to live, and some truly wonderful friends.

I would just love to have a little person to share it all with, to spoil rotten, to chase around the yard, and to cherish unconditionally. Maybe one day…

Later letter

Tucked neatly inside the birthday card my sister handed me on Saturday was a smaller envelope, sealed and marked “Later Letter.” I looked at her with a quizzical expression and asked what it meant. “It’s a letter to read later,” she explained. I tore it open as soon as I got a moment to myself, uncertain if the contents would be good or bad. Here’s what it said:

Dear Brian,

As I thought back over the years, life has dealt us some hard blows, hasn’t it? It doesn’t seem to be getting any easier, either. Sometimes I wonder where I’m gonna wind up.

Since I turned 30 it seems my life is changing along with my body and mind. LOL! But one thing that will never change (unless it gets stronger) is my love for you! I am sorry for anything I’ve ever done to hurt you!

I’m trying to raise my kids the way we were raised, and things have changed so much since we were kids, it’s hard to know how sometimes. But I never meant to make you feel like I am “holier than thou” or “self-righteous.” Please don’t ever feel that way.

You are the best brother I could ever have asked for and I wouldn’t trade you for anybody in the world! My only prayer is for our family to make it to heaven!!

I am sorry for the pain you have suffered throughout life. I would take every pain from you if I could. But if we can only make it, I know God will do just that for you!

I don’t know how to handle alot of situations and may not always do it right, but please don’t hold it against me. I want you to know you are my best friend (except for Hubby) and I want to spend eternity in heaven with you.

We’ve only got one chance to do this, Brian! Let’s give it our very best! We’ve been through alot in our lifetime, but it will be worth it all to hear Him say, “Well done!”

I love you,
Sis

Sweet, huh? It’s amazing how the years can mend relationships and bring people closer together.