On September 5, I’ll be 60. I look in the mirror and think “When did that happen?” Although I have a few more lines on my face, and a whole lot more gray hair that I refuse to dye, I think I look younger than I did 5 or 10 years ago…or maybe I’m just in denial! I took this picture yesterday morning while I was sitting in the dark having my coffee. No makeup, I hadn’t even combed my hair. My sole adornment is the look of peace on my face.
It’s been a hell of a decade since I hit the half-century mark. It was filled with accomplishment and failure, sickness and death, and loss and sadness. It was filled with love and support from family and friends. It was filled with travel and work and writing and playing music. It was filled with drama that I have separated myself from. It was filled with coming out of the darkness, finding new gloriousness, and landing in a place of comfort and joy and gratitude.
I’m grateful for my parents and my three brothers. I’m grateful for the lifelong friends I have, and some that aren’t lifelong but are family of selection all the same. I’m grateful for my work and that I’ve been able to make a living doing things I love. I’m grateful that I spent 25 years with a good man until death did us part…tomorrow would have been our anniversary and I know he is smiling down on me. I’m grateful for the little house in the country I’ve lived in for 33 years, and my dogs, Fido and Queenie. I’m grateful that I have found love again in the form of James Clayton, whom I married on July 5…I consider myself twice blessed. He makes me think. He picks flowers for me and leaves me cards at random times in random places. He makes me laugh when he sings. He loves my dogs and they love him. He is a gardener and a woodworker and a hell of a harmonica player, and a strong, stubborn survivor. We’re both moody as hell. He puts up with my moods and I put up with his. We’re figuring it out one day at a time.
I don’t regret much in my life; in the general scheme of things, there’s very little of it I wouldn’t go through again, including the hard times. I figure I had to go there to get here.