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Typical me, before I opened up my laptop I composed a perfectly worded 600 word piece filled with grammatical errors to drop on this site for your reading delight…in my head. Yeah… so then I opened up the screen, got to this site and two things happened ..first everything I composed vanished..poof ..like a fart in the wind and second that familiar feeling of dread, doubt and anguish washed over me like a ray of sunshine. I find myself sitting here trying to recreate what it is I wanted to say and quite honestly, it is not going well because I keep wondering do I have anything worth saying. I can do this… right?

Since I was here last, fifty happened. Fifty , thanks to my amazing husband (when he wants to be). well .fifty happened in Maui. It still seems like something out of a dream and I am still pinching myself trying to figure out how I of all people actually got to Maui …and even more curious as to why I ever left Hawaii to come home. All I can tell you is my fiftieth birthday was celebrated over a course of several days and included two Islands, Oahu and Maui.. a trip to a fabulous spa, a luau, tropical drinks served in tiki cups with umbrellas, Blue tropical drinks, drinks served by the pool, lots of fabulous food, me shedding all my shame and wearing a bikini (and thinking I am not as fat as I see myself..but not as thin as I once was)…the hotel gifting me with a bottle of champagne and chocolates, an 80s cover band that thought they were there for a corporate event but was really there to serenade me with my favorite songs…breakfast with fabulous views of the Pacific Ocean and a sense of serenity and calm that has eluded my being for a very long time. Fifty it turns out was a lot more freeing than I ever imagined.

Heading into fifty there were a few people who thought it was their mission to remind me of my approaching milestone like it was something I was supposed to mourn or be ashamed of..and quite frankly their antics somewhat pissed me off. I just did not have the energy to explain how much I looked forward to accepting this new decade in my life and wrapping my being around the new possibilities ahead..I embraced this milestone because Last year was a rough year. Last year was closing the chapter on my mother’s influence in my life..last year after 34 years I finally had to say goodbye to Madeline and define what her presence means going forward.

Last year, I faced down a demon that no one really talks about ..I was the same age at last as my mother was when she passed away. No one tells you how mentally, emotionally and physically consuming this period in time is. No one tells you that losing a parent at a young age makes the time in your life feel like a bill that is racking up interest and you are unprepared to pay..no one talks about the fear that overwhelms you wondering if you are indeed on borrowed time or the same fate awaits you. No one talks about how irrational and lost you feel when your fate is possibly staring you down the end of a proverbial gun barrel wondering is it also my time? No one talks much about this at all.

I lost my mother when I was a mere 16 years old and at the time she was so old in my mind and turning 49 was a very long time away. When you lose your only parent at a young age, there is a shift in the core of your very being ..you focus on surviving vs living…and at least for me, you focus on not being or doing anything that has the potential to bring about the same fate to your being. I found myself at 49 trying to make sense of how and why I came to be the me I am ..I realize at 50 that there is a whole book, never mind a chapter about me that I need to write. I am not ashamed of 50 …actually I am grateful to embrace what lies ahead ..and admittedly a little scared because there is no roadmap to guide me. My mother and father are gone ..my sister refuses to get to know me (just as much my loss as it is hers) so I am pulling this out of my ass ..but I have a strong marriage, kids who are on their own journeys, family members who fate has given us the chance to know and love one another at last, in laws who are just as much my family as my husband’s and friends…let me tell you I am BLESSED with the BEST FRIENDS any one person could ever hope for. My friends are on this journey into 50 right along side me this years and it is one big celebration of who we are , where we have been and where we are going and I am cherishing every second