I see that my good friend jurassicpork has already spilled the beans, so what I'm about to write is not exactly news.
I've been toying with the idea of retiring B@B for over a year now, and now that I am starting to settle into my new life as a middle-aged widow in Durham, NC, it seems like a good time to pull the plug.
My life seems to be divided into neat and tidy thirds. The first third was getting through my childhood and young adulthood, coming to fruition the day that the Handsome Devil Later To Be Known as Mr. Brilliant came into my life and started thirty years of joint weirdness. The second third was our years together. And since I have ridiculously good genetics, this last third is going to be starting to live a more meaningful life at a slower pace here in North Carolina.
I remember when I realized that writing movie reviews was no longer satisfying. It was after I'd seen Jet Li's Fearless, and it was like pulling teeth to find something to say. It was hard to say goodbye to that, just as it's hard to say goodbye to B@B. But the truth is that I haven't written anything here in about a year, and what little ranting I have done has been on Facebook.
It was easy to rant during the Parade of Horrors that was the Bush Years. It was less easy to rant during the last eight years, partly because it was our own team selling us out. As we start 2016, the possibility of an even worse parade of horrors lies in front of us, and its magnitude defies the energy I have to devote to it.
The last three years have been all about loss. First there was my mother in December 2012. Then Mr. B's cancer diagnosis in March 2013. Then we had to let Miss Jenny go in July 2013 due to either a brain tumor or stroke -- an event that in utterly horrifying prescience, caused Mr. B. to say, "I wish someone could do for me what we were just able to do for Jenny."
Then on October 5, 2015, two weeks after Valley Hospital allowed Mr. B's brain to seize for thirty-six hours straight while they dickered with meds instead of sedating/intubating him (which is standard of care for status epilepticus), and a week and a half after we had him transferred out of there, I actually DID have to do for him what we did for Jenny, allowing withdrawal of the breathing tube and palliative sedation. He was gone 20 minutes later.
In December 2013, my beloved Maggie-cat took sick and I had to say goodbye to her on January 28, 2014.
Then in November this year, my father passed away from recurrent aggressive diffuse B-cell lymphoma at age 90 only 53 days after it came back for the third time. He'd beaten it back twice.
I had already closed on my new house, I was purging 19 yearsof stuff and packing to move, largely alone. And now dealing with yet another loss. I would call my sister and say, "Please tell me you're not sick."
Everyone tells me they don't know how I'm still standing. I'd love to believe that I'm stronger than most people, but the truth is that I'm no different from anyone else. When life keeps hitting you, you bounce back because you don't have a choice. If you don't think you could, it's because you haven't been hit hard enough yet.
I'm lucky. I've been able to keep my job and work remotely. A year ago I received a promotion and transfer to a new group where my manager is in Germany, where they don't believe in working 80 hour weeks. So my work/life balance has been somewhat better, and now will be even better because I won't be sitting in northern NJ traffic every day. My two little boy kitties, Eli and Sam, were great in the car and have adjusted beautifully to their new home. My sister has welcomed me into her circle and I am signing up for Meetup groups. It is the fresh start that just could not have happened in New Jersey, in a house too full of memories, too many of them about sadness and depression. Mr. B is now free of the emotional burdens that plagued him here and it is time for a young family to move into that house, now dressed up all pretty with a new kitchen, a nice deck, and a completely remodeled upstairs, and make better memories there.
My weekdays will be spent in my home office that gets the morning sun through the trees in my front yard. When the weather gets nice, I can sit and drink iced tea on my screened porch, or take my laptop outside onto the patio. I am about 20 minutes or less from anything I might want to do. My neighbors are friendly, and I have no doubts that I'll be happy here.
It's different here from New Jersey, in just the ways I wanted it to be. New Jersey has become the "You got a problem with that?" state. There seems to be a giant chip on everyone's shoulder there. There is a reason that state elected Chris Christie. Now I'm not under any illusions about what is going on in Raleigh. It's a product of Democrats deciding to stay home in 2010, and it now has one of the most retrograde statehouses in the country. Maybe I can help with efforts to change that.
I am 60 years old now, and while I'll still be fighting the good fight, I've become more contemplative. I'll be starting up a new blog soon -- a chronicle of this new life. Yes, there'll be politics. There will also be the occasional TV or movie review, recipe, anecdote, or anything else that inspires me. I hope you'll join me there and occasionally find something that moves you to participate. Watch this space for the link, it will be posted here.
Thanks to you all for your support during these last few years and indeed, for the last decade.
See y'all on the flip.
Labels: blogging, goodbyes