Well, I’ve had better birthdays. Just off the top of my head, I’d rank higher any birthday when my aunt didn’t die.
Yep. You heard that right.
Mid-afternoon I hear the doorbell goes. I assume it’s Amazon delivering something… Hey! Perhaps even something for my birthday!
Except, no. It was a teary relative I’d not seen in a long time bearing some bad news.
I’m still in a little bit of shock, though I should mention at the outset that the two halves of the family aren’t particularly close. There was a whole Protestant/Catholic schism going on in our family that meant that we Protestants (well, atheists really) weren’t welcome. Lots of bad blood. Heritances not passed on. The usual crap which moderated with the passing of years but still produces a bitter taste in the mouth when I think about it too long.
I like to think I’d been particularly nice to my aunt the last few times I’d seen her, sitting in the local coffee shop. We’d chatted and I’d wished her well. I always felt sorry for her, given she’d had a pretty hard life. She was always a constant in my life, even if spotting her around town was often the extent to our interaction. I’m really sad she’s gone.
I’m also a bit sad, of course, that my birthday will now no longer be simply my birthday. Is that a selfish way of looking at it? I can’t help it. This is my Asperger’s breaking through the emotion to make a rational point that’s probably not meant to be expressed at a moment like this. This is me in my Larry David moment, hearing the news and then going “so, I guess this means my birthday will be forever tainted by this bad news…”
Urgh. I’m sorry.
I was going to write a long piece for the blog today but I have a long piece to write which will hopefully appear elsewhere. It’s good to be busy.
I guess all families have these mini dramas play out, that don’t make complete sense to people outside the circle.