Today is my birthday and I should be writing my year in review. I should write about how I looked in the mirror and cried a few days ago because of all the wrinkles and lines around my eyes, the sagging skin under my chin, the final realization that whatever I used to have is gone and will never be again. I should write about how I spent the past year wondering why I couldn’t breathe and how I can no longer lift my left arm parallel with my body and how I’m actually looking forward to the surgery I’ll have to have to fix it because even rolling over at night causes me to cry out in pain. I should write about how I can’t keep weight off anymore, how my jeans pinch and I want to give it up and let it be. I should write about how I add up the years and know when Xander is my age I’ll be 84 and wonder if I’ll be vital enough to take care of his kids so he and his wife can escape for awhile. I should write about how I know when I’m 84 this age will seem so very young to me.
But then there’s the quiet. Sunset walks with only my thoughts and my dog, leading me through the darkening streets as stars silently dot the sky. The hilly, brutal run which, a couple of months ago, I had to walk most of, but now I’m a few steps from running the entire thing. Sawyer wrapping his arms around me, or staying up late reading only to come downstairs triumphantly telling me he’s finished his book. Sage, smearing makeup on her face, talking her father into buying her wedge-heeled, sequined sneakers, yet still sleeping each night with the lovey she got as a baby. Xander’s eyes lighting up when he first sees me coming into his classroom, insisting on holding my hand on the walk through the parking lot.
The writing. Always the writing. The manuscript which undulates and sings and screams and pouts until it can’t anymore. Until I can’t anymore. And then I can. Because I have to.
I am everything I have been and nothing I will be. I am fire and water and love and glory and shame. I have finished but have yet to begin. I am here yet I am unseen, invisible. Inside me I am shouting.
I am sobbing.
I am dancing.
I am 44.
Tags: 44th birthday