Here is where I wax philosophical

Picture me, dear reader, kicked back in my favorite writing chair of red upholstry, a personal size chocolate lava cake within reach and two very happy but sleepy greyhounds reclining nearby, on this the final minutes of my birthday….

Birthdays for me are a time of reflection. I think about the year gone by, the year ahead, what I’ve gained, what I’ve lost, and somehow what it all means.

What I have:

I’ll start with the basics – a roof over my head. A nice roof, a safe roof, a roof that keeps me warm and dry, a roof in a neighborhood where I don’t have to hear gunshots or worry about my car being broken into. And I have a car: one that will get me from point A to B without rattling, roaring, smoking or exploding; one with all of its working parts and its windows intact; one with an ipod jack (!). Oh, and I have enough cash to survive.

What I don’t have:

My mother. She’s been gone nearly 22 years, and on my birthday I can’t help but think of how she sheltered my developing little body and pushed me out into the world. You think it’d get easier as the years pass, but it doesnt, not really.

Two kidneys. I gave one up to my sister two years ago (as of August 5th). I trusted that the doctors would take care of us and respect the sacrifice I made, but they didn’t. They turned my ‘gift’ into a waste.

My sisters. I lost them within months of losing the kidney, because of the kidney. Maybe I’ll get them back some day, because unlike my mother they’re still alive, but that will require some major understanding on their part and I don’t know if that’s possible. Some things just can’t be forgiven with time.

What I have:

My father. He is reliable, loyal, repsectful, and supportive. He may not have always been the father I thought I wanted, but he has always been the father I’ve needed. He taught me what’s important in a man and how a man should treat a woman he loves.

Plus, he gave me my great hair (and told me if I stop looking for greys, everything will be right with the world)

Pgrumpy, my partner of almost 19 years, who has always accepted me for exactly who I am, regardless of how insane, off-kilter, illogical or needy that may be. I am a handful, make no mistake.

And I have friends. Their numbers are not huge, but they are precious. They make me laugh; they make me think; they remind of the simple things I sometimes forget. They open their homes to me; they open their hearts too.

What I don’t have:

I am not watching a friend die, unlike someone very close to me. I see how weary it makes her, but I also know she is steadfast, and will be until her friend no longer needs her. Of all the burdens I carry, that one I don’t, and I’m grateful. So I’ll be present for her, as long as she needs me to be.

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