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Happy birthday?

August 3rd, 2012 at 03:29 pm

I have to say it's been a very strange and sad birthday for me.

I do want to thank all of you for your suggestions and support in the matter of my mother's arthritis. Thanks to Snafu's mention of cherry juice, which I hadn't heard of, i did some quick online research, found a good research article on it and sent it to my mother, who went out and got some. So I am hopeful it could help!

I'm also going to forward her the info on the Arthritis Society. I know she has been using cold paks but i will tell her about alternating with the warm paks.

Aside from what's going on with her, I picked up J. tonight after work, and for some reason feel consumed with sympathy for him. He doesn't have it easy. He tells me everything about his life. I sort of feel like he uses the drive time home with me to decompress about whatever's on his mind.

To be honest, my own family life certainly has its issues, so I often find it far preferable to listen to others talk about their lives rather than have to share details about my own.

When his ex divorced him a few years ago, he went on Celexa. It came up today when he had to meet with his parole/probation officer. He was really looking forward to the day becus he knew he'd be getting his "ankle bracelet" off, which he did, but once the guy heard about the anti-depressant, he said he wanted to do a psych eval on him, which will likely mean at least 3 more visits, J. said. Not a huge deal, but he seemed kind of down as it was just another delay in being able to put all this behind him.

J. only makes $45k a year. He's got his kids half the week and spends much of the remainder of his time attending AA meetings. He goes to 4 a week! Then he's paying me $200 a week for driving him to work, which is a lot of money on his salary.

I didn't have to drive him in this a.m. becus his girlfriend drove him when he was through with the hearing, but when he paid me tonight on the way home, I realized later when i counted it that he still paid me the full amount, when he should have subtracted $20. God knows i need the money, but so does he. I'm going to return it to him Monday.

He seems extremely even-keeled and from the way he talks, it sounds like he's learned an awful lot about himself in the years since his divorce. I guess he had his wild days. I do notice, though, that his kids really don't misbehave much, and I sense he's very strict with them. Strict in the sense that he doesn't tolerate any back talk. He lives in an apt. on a very busy highway, and for the past week or so, he hasn't slept well becus they've been repaving the street. I don't know, it seems like the guy could really use a break. I wish there was a way I could help him.

Then, tonight, I get a call. Do you remember earlier posts about an old, old boyfriend from 28 years ago? We used to date when I lived on the Cape, not long after graduating college. I never considered him marriage material, but we did have fun. He was a carpenter and roofer, very handsome, drove a cute little MG convertible that he let me borrow. We'd go camping and canoeing, and stuff like that.

He was a native of Massachusetts, and at some point I guess moved back to where he grew up, in a suburb outside Boston. I never kept in touch with him after we split up.

About 10 years ago, he somehow discovered where I live now and started calling me, on my birthday, on Easter, Christmas, etc. Even when I asked him to stop, told him i was getting married, etc., just to get him to leave me alone. He still kept calling, creeping me out out quite a bit. Some of you had told me to call the cops about it; I probably would have, but I hadn't written down his phone number when he gave it to me so I'd have nothing to give the police.

Anyway, when i got home from driving J., there was a message on the machine. It was the old boyfriend again, but this time, his voice sounded different. I thought he might have a cold. He said I know you told me not to call, but i just wanted to wish you a happy birthday, since I may not be able to do that this time next year. He said he had emphesema in both lungs and wasn't doing that well. And that he would never forget me.

I don't think he was making it up. He was always a heavy smoker when I dated him, and I guess he never quit. It's very sad. I don't wish the guy ill. I forget how old he was, but he's got to be at least 57 or 58 now, or maybe a year or two older. He never married, and lives with his mother.

It's a little depressing, even though I didn't want him calling me.

It's been one helluva birthday.

I'm really not sad for me. I'm sad for the people around me, to see people struggle with personal challenges, to watch my mom grow old and be powerless to stop that and yes, to hear news of what will probably be an old boyfriend's terminal illness. It reminds me that life is short, life is precious.

19 Responses to “Happy birthday?”

  1. laura Says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Big reminder to me that life is short and have fun. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

  2. carol b. Says:

    Happy Birthday! I am sorry the tough parts of life are showing up on your birthday, but I wanted to send good wishes, since I always enjoy reading your blog.

  3. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Happy Birthday. There are a lot of strange things happening to you. Stay grounded. Take care of you. I keep saying that, sorry, but really that's what it's all about.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    {{hugs}} I hope that your birthday gets better.

  5. cheapiepoo Says:

    Happy Birthday! Life is short but, each new day is another chance to get it right. I love reading this blog...

  6. Dido Says:

    Sorry it's been a melancholy birthday, but hope it kicks off a better new year! Happy (belated--it's after midnight) birthday!

  7. My English Castle Says:

    Birthdays can be a difficult time, I think. Lots of things to think about. But I wish you --and J--a happier upcoming year. And better health for your mom.

  8. North Georgia Gal Says:

    Happy Birthday! These things were put there to make you appreciate what you have!

  9. Jerry Says:

    Sounds like a sobering day, but I do think it is great that you help others and are so well thought of... happy returns of the day to you, and I hope that this year leads to many great things in your life!

  10. SecretarySaving Says:

    Happy belated Birthday!

  11. Analise Says:

    Happy Birthday! You are a kind and caring person and I wish you the best. May the coming year be a good one for you.

  12. LuckyRobin Says:

    Happy Belated birthday. I got a little behind on reading, but still wanted to wish you one.

  13. PNW Mom Says:

    Happy belated Birthday! And like My English Castle, I wish you and J and happier upcoming year.

  14. CB in the City Says:

    Happy Belated Birthday from me, too!

  15. creditcardfree Says:

    Happy Birthday...late. Just now seeing this post. We all have our struggles in one way or another. It's good J is learning on his journey.

  16. Looking Forward Says:

    Another Belated Happy Birthday Wish. Smile
    Seems like you (and J too) are on the right track.

  17. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Your birthday was while I was in AK...so I wanted to wish you a happy belated!! Im not sure why we cross paths with some that we do...but I do believe there is always a lesson to be learned - although sometimes it is long after the event that we understand why. SOunds like in some way you are helping these two at extremely low points and they both are greatful for having known you along their journey..

  18. NJDebbie Says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! ((HUGS))

  19. Ima saver Says:

    Happy belated birthday too!

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