Yesterday was my birthday. I heard from one of my five children, my sister and my mother. My daughter in Georgia (who I haven’t seen since 2005 since I live in California and won’t fly) is sending me a gift. My significant other, Bob, made dinner for me and we watched a movie together. I was happy about that.
Bob has no family. Well, he has a sister he doesn’t get along with – she lives on the other side of the country too. And he has relatives he never sees in a European country.
I have family – but nobody nearby except my 18-yr-old son who lives in town still, but who seems to be going through a belated teenage rebellion since he realized that I expect him to fend for himself now that he’s of age. He earns more than I do – so don’t feel sorry for him. He’s doing fine financially and is living with friends and having fun. My other children are all hundreds or thousands of miles from here – in SF, Hawaii, Georgia, and Washington. My sister is in San Diego which is the opposite side of the state from me – I’m near the OR border. My mother is in Texas. The rest of the family is still in the SF Bay Area where we all came from. That’s a ten hour drive from here and I haven’t been there since 2003 as I can’t afford the gas… and of course that’s getting much worse all the time.
Long explanation – and I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I feel isolated from my family. If it weren’t for Bob, I’d be all alone, which to me is a scary thought. I’ve had people living with me all my life. I admire those who have adjusted to living as loners, but I’ve never been like that. For 35 years I had children to take care of. My youngest turned 18 in June and moved out on July 2 this year, so I’m adjusting to an empty nest. It feels eerie to think of the people who used to live in this house, realizing I’m the last one left of the four of us who moved here in January 2000.
So as I said, yesterday was my birthday, and I’m starting a new year of life. This is where I am now – and I wonder how much will change during the year to come.