The Good, The Bad, & Then Valentines Day

This passed week has been an eventful one. It’s been a whole lot, actually.

To dive right into it, my wonderful great Aunt Kay passed away. My Oma made a last-minute trip out to Illinois. It’s been a hard week for her and the rest of my family. Aunt Kay was an amazing woman with an incomparable spirit. I’m so glad I got to see her and spend time with her this summer at our family reunion. I love you so much, Aunt Kay.

Additionally, my family cat just passed away. He’s been in a lot of pain lately, upon suddenly becoming diabetic, and the vet recommended he be put down. That’s a goodbye I wish I’d put more effort into. He’s been in my family since 2002, and he lived a great life. We all miss him dearly. I love you, Tailer.

I haven’t talked about these two tragedies to anyone yet–grieving is never something I’ve been very good at. I’ve been very lucky in my life to have so few people that are close to me pass away. With the exception of my beloved grandmother when I was thirteen and my other great Aunt Norma when I was eighteen, I haven’t had to deal much with death. The only thing I am certain about with me and death is that I hate talking about it. Honestly, I do. Tragedy in general–I have a hard time communicating with others about it. I can’t tell you how fast I got off the phone with my mom when she called to tell me about Tailer. When my grandmother passed away, I listened to my mom talk about death for ten minutes, asked to be excused, and went into my room to cry alone for a few hours. I don’t like to share my grief. It’s just never something I’ve been good at. For someone who likes to talk so much, I sure have the ability to shut the eff up.

Then, there’s the good stuff. It’s been everyone and their mother’s birthday this week and I’m so happy I got to celebrate with all my wonderful friends. My Little, Jackie, turned twenty, and we stormed our favorite Downtown Disney restaurant, Rainforest Cafe (also, the very first place I took her to as Big and Little) and sat next to a giant gorilla and ate our mashed potatoes and shrimp. I also got to see her perform again, and let me tell you, the girl can dance. If you didn’t already know that. Chu turned twenty-two and our little group raged all the way to Long Beach to go to a dueling piano bar. We were pleasantly (and drunkenly) surprised at how amazingly entertaining the whole thing was. We embarrassed the shit out of Chu, of course, and then went home to play King’s Cup and ice the birthday boy a whole lot. Today is Alex’s twenty-second birthday, and this afternoon, we’ll leave Orange and join her in LA for a very special, very expensive, birthday dinner. Ugh, my bougie best friend.

This birthday week has forced me to reflect on where we are were this time last year. Alex’s infamous 21st birthday shenanigans, our first Vegas trip, my still-ailing heartbreak, and all the food we ate. We were really trying to be grown-up. We’re STILL really trying to be grown-up. We were having so much fun. We’re STILL having so much fun. But it’s more fun now. I don’t mean to get all “Circle of Life” on everyone today, but the good does often come with the bad. I’ve been saddened and overjoyed with this week. Even with Valentine’s Day. I made it through that.

Happy birthday, my friends. I wish you all many, many more birthdays and memories. I’m so lucky to have you all.

I love you so much, Illinois family. My heart goes out to all of you, and to lovely Aunt Kay.

I love you so much, kitty cat. You put up with me through my difficult years. I wish I could kiss you and hold you again.

As Gilda Radner once said, “Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”


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