Friday, February 8
I woke up, rolled over, grabbed my phone, and checked email. I keep telling myself I’m not going to start my day this way, but I keep doing it.
“Happy birthday,” JB emailed. “I hope you have a great day celebrating a life that has been well lived thus far—with courage, curiosity, energy, honesty, integrity, intelligence, kindness and style.
“I am grateful to you for being a wonderful, supportive, loving wife to me for 21 years. I am sorry that I wasn't the man or the husband that you deserved.
“I am also grateful to you for being a wonderful mother to our children. Our boys are amazing, and it has a whole lot more to do with you than it does with me.
“I wish you peace, happiness and fulfillment.”
I felt deeply sad that our marriage, our relationship, had turned out the way it did. I’d tried to be a good wife. I was glad JB saw me that way. But I was no angel. I’d ruminated about JB’s actions or inactions, built resentments, and treated him with contempt. I’d sunk my venomous teeth in our relationship and poisoned it, too. I got out of bed and cooked Tom breakfast and drove him to school.
“Happy birthday Mom,” Tom said and gave me a big hug before getting out of the car. “I won’t see you until Sunday.”
JB was picking up Tom after school.
“Have a good time at Dad’s,” I said. “I love you.”
“Love you, too.”
I drove to the barn and had a beautiful ride on BlackJack in the snow. Then I drove downtown to meet David and Sherry, who were taking me to dinner at Bavette’s and the play “The Book of Mormon.” My phone beeped and rang with birthday wishes, one of them from Blake.
“Happy birthday,” Blake said when I picked up. “I got this weird text from Dad telling me he’d reimburse me for anything I wanted to buy you, like in some twisted way it could be from him, too. I don’t have any money. I have five dollars right now. And I don’t want to buy you something and have him pay for it.”
“Your phone call is my present,” I told Blake. “I love that you called me. I think you got that text from Dad because there was weirdness about the present he picked out for Tom to give me. It was a “Mad Men” dvd set. The whole thing with Don Draper. I had Tom return it.”
“You can’t read too much into Dad’s behavior,” Blake said. “He does what he wants to and doesn’t think. He just bumbles around.”
I pulled into the parking lot of David and Sherry’s building, the old Playboy building. They showed me around their lovely apartment. They took me out for dinner. I ate the best chocolate cream birthday pie ever. And we laughed our asses off for two-and-a-half hours at the play. I love David and Sherry. I love my sons. I love my friends and family. I love my dogs and horse. Thank you Universe for forty-nine years of fabulous human life that is never boring and full of opportunities to grow and fly.