I turned 51 last weekend. It wasn't a big deal until I realized that I could no longer legitimately say I was in mid-life. I mean, women to tend to live longer than men and all, but my gene pool simply does not support reaching the age of 102.
I guess that means I am about as grown-up as I'm going to get. That's somewhat sobering, although I am kind of relishing taking on the role of crotchety, eccentric old bat.
This last chunk (third? fourth?) of my life is certainly not starting out as I had envisioned. Wrapping my head around being single for what may be the rest of my life is turning out to be quite a challenge. At this point I've been married for well over half my life and I (naively) assumed the pattern would continue unchanged. Fer chrissakes, the base of my ring finger is still the size it was when I was 19. I wonder if it will ever fill out, or if it's doomed to stay in its stunted state, like the bound feet of an old Chinese woman.
The other thing that happened this week that got me to a-pondering was that Mr. B's older, single sister, (we'll call her Sr. B) passed away from cancer a couple of days ago. I was not one of her favorite people (long, boring story there) but I am the only one resembling family nearby, so I am the one that was called. I sat with her in the hospital as she passed.
Even though she wasn't really conscious, I talked to her. I told her about the lunar eclipse on Monday, what my personal vision of the afterlife was like, and other random crap. I told her everything here would be taken care of so she could go when she was ready. I told her I knew I wasn't the one she would have chosen to be there, but it meant a lot to me to know that she was comfortable and safe in the hospital, rather than dying alone on her cold, hard kitchen floor surrounded by her four cats (which very nearly happened.) The whole scene was eerily familiar, as it was almost three months ago that I had done the exact same thing (well, except for that part about the cats and the kitchen floor) with Mr. B.
(Can you imagine getting that phone call? Even though she had 'banished' me a few weeks before Mr. B died, I would never have been able to forgive myself.)
Regardless of that shakes out going forward, I am grateful that I can put my 'angel of death' costume away before I shut the door on 2010. Two deathbeds in three months is plenty. Looking forward to finding a new hobby for 2011.