Douglas Adams wrote that 42 was the answer to the question which explained life, the universe and everything.
At 42, I can say that I have not been granted the wisdom and insight to confirm or deny this.
I’m still the same scared neurotic mess I always have been.
I’m just better at hiding it.
What a difference a few years makes.
I’m finally able to talk and write about this. I guess a few years of psychotherapy and a better understanding that grieving is a continually ongoing and evolving process that changes and grows over time does make a difference.
If cancer had not fucked up our plans, Larry and I would have been on the cusp of celebrating the 2nd anniversary of our wedding (more on this later) and we would likely be in the process of going on a vacation.
But instead, I am on the cusp of 42, still a widower, still single and still sorting my shit out.
Single does not mean lonely (often) but it does mean alone. However I’m in a far better place two years later.
Our plans had been to throw a 40th birthday party for me, so we could be surrounded by friends and family and enjoy the company of loved ones. We had even arranged entertainment (in the form of a musician Mike Keneally and also a clown (Yup I was going to hire Mr. Rainbow to entertain at my own birthday!)- both of whom are very good friends of mine – so I could have everyone I love at my wedding). In the middle of the shenanigans, there was to have been a surprise wedding wherein Larry and I were going to exchange vows and rings and reaffirm our love and devotion for each other legally and in front of our collective family.
However cancer had different plans. I took the week of my 40th birthday off work and had a dumpster delivered so I could purge the house of items that were not gifted/donated/recycled or bequested. It was hard work for me, physically, emotionally and spiritually, however it was very cathartic.
Last year, I can’t even remember what I did – birthdays have somewhat become a non-entity for me. I suspect Doug Jones and I had dinner in and around that time and likely I had brunch/dinner with my family.
This year, I’m going to be at work as I’m drawing my time as a case manager to a close and am moving to a different role within my organization, in a different office. I’ll be getting a haircut and going out for dinner with Doug to celebrate my surviving 42 years and my remaining clean and sober for 12 years.
But enough looking in the rear view mirror and let’s look ahead…