Smudger Snippets: 59th Birthday

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I suppose it's because I have so much time on my hands these days, that all these memories come flooding back to me.

The 59th Birthday

Well that is another one over, making 59 so far and no celebrations either, as with my wife's present health condition there is no way we could go out anywhere. So it was just a quiet night in for me, much the same as any other evening. It did however give me time to reflect over all the past birthdays in my life, right back to the first one I can really remember, and that was my fifth one.

The reason I remember that one was because we had a birthday party that year, and all my friends were there; in fact I still have a photograph of it. Well, I say I have the photo but in fact I gave that box full of pictures of our childhood, (my sister and I) to my youngest daughter the last time I saw her, which was a few years ago now.

The reason I gave them to my youngest daughter is because her older sister has not been in touch ever since the divorce some 18 years ago now, and my contact with my youngest has been very scarce as well, so that was why I handed them over on that occasion. As it worked out my decision was right, as I have not had any word from her ever since that day.

I really did try to think of some happier times while I was reflecting that evening; to be honest there weren't that many really, but I think that is due to the fact that I have lost large chunks of my past life altogether and simply cannot remember them at all. The therapist, who I am presently visiting, says this could be a side effect of the PTSD which I am attending therapy for, but I am not totally convinced of that. Still, the fact remains that I do have this long term memory loss, which, quite frankly, is hard to deal with, as there has to be some good memories in there as well.

I suppose if I had some photos of my family as they were growing up, that might have helped me remember some of the events, but the handful of pictures that I was given after the divorce did not help any. As all I got were the albums with the majority of the photos removed!

My 40th birthday is the one that I will never forget, as that was the year which had so many major changes in my life. That was the year I got divorced, after returning home from working overseas to find myself unemployed, broke, homeless and divorced, all within a few months. I suppose looking back on it, I deserved the treatment I received from my family, (my two daughters and my only sister) due to the fact that I left their mother.

Yet I can't really understand why things never improved over the years, like they did with my present wife's family, as her three children, although hostile at first, changed over time and now we all get along great.

Everything changed for me upon my return from working abroad, in the oil construction industry that had kept me fully employed over the previous 15 years, mostly away from home. It seemed to have completely disappeared, and after a few weeks employment on the site that sent me overseas in the first place, I found myself unemployed. Then, after giving up the flat that I had been living in up until then, I was homeless as well.

It was during those few weeks after my return that I met my present wife, and that is one thing I never have, nor ever will regret. Even now that her health has deteriorated, owing to her terminal illness, which was diagnosed back in 2001, we have had 18 great years together, the last 14 of them married. So at least I will have those years to look back on, when, God willing, I reach my 60th birthday next year.

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