August 20, 2003

// March 17th, 2010 // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Today I turned 50. I have completed my first half century. All things considered, it was a good day. I woke up very tired, as usual, so after Dave left for work at 6:45 I crawled back into bed hoping for a little more sleep. As soon as I got all comfy my mind grabbed hold of some idea and ran with it.It must not have been a very important idea. I can’t even remember now what it was. It wasn’t worth the bother to lie there and work at getting back to sleep so I got up. Besides, I knew that Amy would be here by 8:30 for our morning walk. Today we made the entire two mile round trip to the west end of the flume. We are enjoying these walks and plan to continue even when our schedules are tight. It gives us a chance to talk about our lives and to ponder death. We talk some about Steve but not exclusively.

Dave and I planned to go out to dinner tonight with the kids for my birthday but didn’t get out of the house till almost 7:30. We went to IHOP because I like pancakes for dinner! Amy, Kirstie, Kyle, and Jeremy joined Dave, Janiece, Robyn and me there. We spent the evening talking and laughing together. It almost felt like any other normal family birthday dinner. Amy told me that she was thinking about having a party for my birthday but she feels it’s too soon since Steve’s death. Maybe for my next milestone. This one has been overshadowed and is probably best kept low key.

Jae gave me quite a compliment this morning. “You’re too young to be fifty!” It made me remember a time when my Grandma Toll was in her seventies and she told me, “When I close my eyes I’m still the same girl I was at twenty-one.” I was twenty-two years old at the time and I couldn’t understand what she meant. But now I do. Now when I close my eyes I’m 120 pounds with long, shiny-brown hair (not my current dull brown and silver) and I’m about twenty-five years old, yet tempered with experience.

Now that I’m fifty I’m OK with it. I thought it would bother me, but like I told Steve when he was queasy about turning thirty ~ “It sure beats the alternative!”

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