Thursday, October 9, 2014

Firsts and Lasts

I was in my hometown, Roswell, again recently and witnessed my great-nephew, Beau,  boldly mastering his first steps. You could tell from the twinkle in his eye that there will be trouble ahead, for the next 18 years or so.  Nevertheless, there was joyous clapping and cheering as he toddled back and forth between the outstretched hands of his beaming mom and dad.  This first year of life has been full of milestones and I was so happy to be there to share in the pride and celebration of my family.

Life has a way of being volleyed back and forth between firsts and lasts, joys and sorrows. I found out this week that the beautiful young Irish fiddler who reluctantly agreed to give me lessons in Anchorage and then became my friend, had decided that "enough is enough" (per her note) and followed Ross in a final act of extreme desperation (Why is it so hard for me to simply say "suicide"?)  She was just 36 years old. Again, I was shocked, disillusioned and enraged. Really? And if you add Robin Williams to the mix, I wonder if we need to call the CDC. What's happening?

I cried on and off for a little while, then got up and determined that I was NOT going to be manipulated by the prophets of the dark side. It's sometimes easy for us middle-agers to struggle with self-worth and the belief that the best years are past. But I have my life and, whiny as I sometimes am, I LOVE IT and wouldn't trade it in for yours and certainly wouldn't throw it in the dumpster. I know where you and I belong and it's right here, right now.

I humbly admit that I have been spared the horrendous suffering that drove my friends to do what they did. Having realized that, I feel more motivated than ever to get out there, take more risks and live my life with renewed purpose, making each second count  (well, we all know that won't last for long, but at least this week I'm not going to be a couch potato).

In my conquer-your-fears-and-just-do-it state of mind, I did something rather impulsive ( may have seen that coming). I was browsing online to start planning my Irish vacation next summer (I know, it was supposed to be this summer, but I was too scared), when I came across an Irish dating site. My thinking was altered, okay? because of my grief. I thought, "How romantic would it be to meet a handsome, roguish laddie online, exchange pictures and emails, then meet when I actually get to Ireland?" I'm telling you it sounded like a good idea at the time.

So I signed up with the user name Florida Girl. That should let them know where I was and what they were getting into. But after the first step of choosing a name and password, I either came to my senses or lost my nerve and logged out before creating a profile or uploading pictures. I thought it was over,  but nay... 'twasn't meant to be that easy. Apparently my membership was initiated and, profile or no, I started receiving mail from Ireland.  Only I guess my user name was rejected and the administrators chose another one for me........."Hello Animal 889"!!! I can only imagine what was on the other side of the messages I received.

Not to worry, I went back in and figured out how to cancel. I should stay away from such things I know nothing least for a while. But I'm feeling that life is just too precious to not peep out of the box now and then and breathe in the fresh scent of adventure.   And sometimes I may need to just lean to one side far enough to tip the box over and feel myself tumbling out. This has always been so hard for me to do. But I'm going to work on it more, because I owe it to my friends who gave up way too soon.