Mortality, Perspective and Balance

Mortality has been on my mind a lot.  It’s a milestone year for me and I am feeling it, particularly since my mobility is impaired and seems to be worsening.  I hope I have many years ahead of me, good years but you just don’t know.  I live fairly locally to where I grew up so I was reading the local obituaries to see whose parents had died.  And then people’s ages were getting too close to mine and I even knew some of them.  It started to drag me down so I stopped.

Last week I received a call that one of my exes had a massive heart attack and was in a medically induced coma and the prognosis was not good.  This was someone I had lived with for a few years.  When I left him, he said “But we were going to get married”  Nice of him to let me know.  He wasn’t the first.  I left someone else who then showed me a polaroid of the engagement ring he was paying off on for me.

Joebe passed away on Thursday night and I got the call Friday.  I really thought he was stubborn and cantankerous enough to come out of this.  He never regained consciousness.  This is who he was, he thought he was having a heart attack so he drove himself to the doctor.  Just what they tell you not to do.  My husband has been upset because all week, of course,  Joebe has been in my thoughts.  I have been reminiscing. He doesn’t mind the reminiscing.  They are not happy memories. He does not like that.   I cannot help it.  I am trying hard to remember some happy times.  He was controlling and emotionally abusive.  It is what it is and he was physically abusive just that one time.  I tried explaining to my husband that remembering the bad times is not bad.  I put on the card for the flowers “You changed my life” and he did.  I learned all kinds of things about myself.  I learned how much stronger I was than I thought.

It’s ironic, it’s March.  I met him in March, 21 or 22 years ago.  I never go out on St. Pat’s but a friend, Joe S asked me to go with him as a favor to some event or other.  Joe T called and asked me to hang out so I said next week.  Next week, I went to hang with Joe T and met Joebe.  My parents couldn’t stand him as he was much older than me.  I was living at home after my first marriage broke up and he would call and say “It’s Joe”  and they would say “Which one?”  Drove him insane.  He was jealous and insecure.  He did make me look at where I was jobwise.  I had fallen on really bad times when my first marriage had broken up and was answering phones.  I applied for another job like that and he told me if I kept on looking at the same jobs I would be in the same place.  I left him when I got the job I have now.  At the time I jumped my salary by 50%.  With bonuses the first year, I made more than he did.  We never really stopped talking and this truly irked him, a man of his age being bested by a little girl. He never thought I was very smart and I am.  I am one of the first women at an all boys school and he always said that I got in because I was a girl.  We went to a 25th anniversary of the admission of women and the former president said that admissions my year were blind.  It was incredibly liberating.  Joebe scoffed and said they lied.

He bought me a house.  One of the reasons he bought this particular house was the day we looked at it, three swans floated up.  It was on water and I am tresswann.

I am preparing to go to his funeral this afternoon with my husband.  My husband always maintains that Joebe was my husband.  I lived with him longer than I did my first husband and had more of a relationship with him.

I have kept on saying all week, this is weird.  This afternoon is going to be weird.  I was at the wedding of both of his children, the christening of two of his three grandchildren.  He was one of 5 brothers.  The family liked me.  I have not seen these people in years.  I am going to have to walk into this with a cane.  My husband says to leave the cane behind and he will hold me.  I am blessed.  Things work out the way they are supposed to work out.  I had a really close friend die when I was with Joebe.  He knew him.  He refused to come with me to the wake or funeral.  Walking in alone was one of the hardest things I had done up to that point  in my life.  See, what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.  Today, I will not be alone.  I will be supported by love.

So, perspective too.  On Thursday, I received a call from my agent indicating that he had been told I am not getting a raise for this year.  Can I say livid is too mild a word?  Yes, I worked remotely for most of January and February but I put in mega hours.  I give heart and soul and do excellent work.  I am not just saying this.  And I am hurt by this.  I will address it when I get into the office this week.  But coming in conjunction with Joebe’s death, it’s time to take another look.  If they think I am doing a less than adequate job which is what a non raise indicates to me then I can and will cut back.  If I cut my hours, I cut my income.  What’s money at the end of the day as long as the bills are paid?  Working less hours will let me get home earlier and when I am home earlier and not putting in extra hours, I can do more “me” stuff.  How about the gym? How about art and writing?

I am a Libra and as odd as it sounds, I need to be in balance.  I have been out of balance.  This manifests itself in my health.  Oh, and a side note on stress, I left Joebe and started a new job all in the same month, not too crazy.  I am moving towards this milestone birthday with trepidation.  I am taking these two events as a sign to get back in balance.  Maybe regain my physical sense of balance. We truly do not know when our last day will be.  I don’t want the rest of whatever time I have to be filled with regrets or what ifs.   Carpe Diem.

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