Today is our birthday — the date when my twin brother was born four minutes after me. (And I won’t let him forget that I’m older!)
Today, I am skipping recognition of my birthday, and extending all my love to the best half of that egg that split soon after we were conceived.
Why am I skipping my birthday?
Frankly, I’m just tired. The up-and-back trips to Pittsburgh during the last six weeks to support my spouse with his mother’s critical health situation have been exhausting. Not only the long drive each way, but the non-stop dependency on my knowledge, skills, and patience.
Not that I mind one bit — my spouse is always there for me and I am there for him. But I’m just worn out.
So today, I plan to take a half day off. Do what I want to do. Maybe go for a short motorcycle ride. Maybe sleep late. I dunno exactly what’s in store, but whatever I do, I hope to take at least a half-day off. Just one-half day for me. Then I will pour myself back into supporting my spouse and his mother. (The spouse calls me at least four times a day with one crisis after another.)
Usually, I take the week off during the week on which my birthday falls to have a “staycation” and an extended time doing what I want to do. But that won’t happen this year. I have pretty much burned all of my leave from work with the time I have taken off to support my spouse’s mother in Pittsburgh.
Last year, my “staycation” was no fun, either, nor was it the year before. Last time I had some fun on our birthday was in 2011, in 2010, and in in 2009 when my twin brother visited, rented a Harley, and we rode together just for the pure joy of being out there as brothers having fun.
In 2012 and 2013, my spouse was so ill with his long-term infection that my “staycation” was staying home to care for him. In 2014, my spouse was slowly starting to recover, but because I had taken so much leave to care for him during the year, I could only take one day off. (My spouse had a relapse in August, then recovered into remission by the end of the year.)
I think my days of treating myself to a week-long staycation are over. Instead, I will stop having birthdays and just celebrate my twin’s birthday. Then he can be the older of our pairing! LOL!
Today, my brother is somewhere in the Middle East, caring for people who have been displaced by fighting and civil distress. I do not know exactly where he is, but my “twin thing” (as well as occasional phone calls) tell me that he is safe, well, and continuing to do what his heart has led him to do during his post-retirement new chapter of his life.
I speak with his wife more often, and she is well. Like me, she misses that big lug of a brother of mine. We anticipate that he will complete his current assignment some time in September, and return home to Italy.
Let’s celebrate someone who I admire deeply and who is providing service above-and-beyond in this grief-stricken world. I am very proud of my twin brother. So let the ol’ notch be notched on your annual calendar, bro, and I’ll take a pass this year. I love you, sempre e ore.
(Just for the record: I am proud of all of my brothers and all of my sisters, the whole 14 of ’em!)
Life is short: cherish those you love.