I’m back.

I wasn’t prepared for two siblings down. I was just assimilating my sister’s unexpected death, when my brother up and died last May.

I’ve been a ball of emotions: grateful, sad and mad.

Grateful because, looking back, I think my brother came off life support the first time just for me. We had conversations that mattered after that, and I believe it was his gift, as I don’t have regrets about his death where it concerns our relationship.

Sad, because we both thought he’d overcome his illness, and so we made plans that we’ll never get to actualize this lifetime. And what a loss that is.

Mad, because this is two unnecessary deaths. My siblings went in for “minor procedures that were supposed to make life EASIER for them,” yet they both died from a hospital acquired infection, the direct result of those procedures. Same type of procedure. Same infection. Same hospital affiliation.

To honor them, I have their photos hanging where I can see them, even when viewing them brings an ache to my heart. But that only happens when I really look at them, instead of just glancing as I pass by.

Funk helped me come back to myself.

For the first time in our 40 years together, the bastard surprised me last July with a “Sweet 60th Birthday Party.” I say bastard because I’ve thrown him dozens of parties, yet this was his first for me.

Whatever. Husbands.

The party was one of the best weeks of my life. My daughter and niece came in early and we had so much fun going into the city, walking, window shopping and eating deliciousness in Central Park. Funk met us for the food part, of course. My younger brother Santis flew in, despite the last dregs of a stomach flu. Almost everyone that I love was at Funk’s party. It felt like being at my own funeral, except I was alive to enjoy it!

There’s more to say about the wonderfulness of stepping into my 50s, and now 60s. For now, if you’re dreading being that age, just know that in 2018, 60 is still young. More, it’s an incredibly empowering time, so please try to embrace it.

Here’s wishing that you, too, are celebrated, because we all deserve that, and while here in the flesh.

The photo: Tara and I at the party. It’s the typical face she makes whenever she’s with me, as she hates me kidding around and I love it SO much. Sucks to be Tara.

P.S. As with all my posts, while the subject matter might have weight, they are meant to be entertaining. This is a whine-free zone.

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