May. 12th, 2017

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I turned 39 on Wednesday. I always look forward to my birthday and if I'm totally honest, the prevalence of Facebook makes commemorating your special day pretty effortless. I felt especially spoiled - not only with the likes and comments, but the cards (Michael Bolton-themed and otherwise), the calls, the texts, the cards. My friend Ben stopped over with a little cake from a nearby bakery since he was in the neighborhood. Kimberly got me a triple chocolate cake with a glittery giraffe spawned of icing on the top.

It was *nice*.

I'm debating a big party next year or a big trip somewhere. Would love to have Eef Barzelay come back and play at my house, but an international voyage sounds pretty cool too. Maybe I can swing both.

In more somber news, we said goodbye to my aunt Pat today. She was my mom's oldest sister and a dedicated smoker all her life. She was the first person I knew that was divorced (back when that seemed like the Worst Thing A Person Could Be), but she lived her own life and did what she wanted and I admired that about her. I wasn't close to her, but her sharp sense of humor and wit was always something I was envious of.

The funeral was a little awkward but nice enough. There's still animosity on that side of the family since my grandparents passed a few years back and the resulting fall out over their estate. Things were largely civil and maybe it will have some deeper emotional impact to help folks make some in-roads with each other.

My mom's now the oldest living sibling (her only brother died 13 years ago of a heart attack), so I think that's putting things into perspective for her too. She and my dad have their wills and last wishes all put on paper, so no worries about trying to ascertain what they would want when the time comes.

The service was Catholic and it really struck home how completely non-religious I've become. I attend UU services each week, but all of the God and Jesus talk was so foreign to me. The responses to the prayers still came out of me reflexively but they were pretty hollow.

Still, it's nice to know that she's at peace now, whatever that truly means. Her cremains are not far from my grandparent's plot in the mausoleum, which seems appropriate. She's in a beautiful urn, adorned with blue birds, which always were her favorite.

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