Sunday, March 4, 2012

I am Afraid of This Birthday

Great NASCAR race today at Phoenix! Kevin Harvick almost won in the end, but ran out of gas. Still hung on for second.

I may have a short post up later on after I am done screening for ideas this week. I would say I am more cautious coming in to this week then I have been all year so far. It's really a key week for momentum going forward or stalling out and reversing. I have a more personal post tonight that has been rolling around in my head for a little while.

I am Afraid of This Birthday
I am a huge lover of Christmas. The only thing bigger to me during the year are the birthdays of those close to me. I mean, it's YOUR day right? I am usually excited about birthdays and I really enjoy them.

But not this year.

For reasons that are not scientific, grounded in fact, or even make much sense I am afraid for my birthday this year. I will turn 36 next Monday (the 12th) and I have been wrestling with a inner fear about this one for about 5 years.

It all started when my father died long ago in 1996 at age 50. I never thought anything could happen to that man, even with his many issues. A heart attack caused by a transient blood clot in his heart rendered him legally brain dead, and a little over a month later he finally passed on. A horrific was to go and a terrible thing to see, trust me. I never really thought about something like that before, never really felt even a hint of mortality. I was a stupid kid after all.

But really it's all about 2007.

My older brother ruptured his Achilles tendon doing a stupid cartwheel trick (I have no idea) and he was offered two options. A longer recovery period without surgery or a surgical procedure to speed up the re-attachment process and a faster recovery time. My brother lived in Cambridge and walked everywhere so it was no surprise he opted for the surgery, though my Mother advised strongly against it.

A couple of weeks after the surgery and in a huge cast, my brother suffered a double pulmonary embolism by dislodged blood clots and died within minutes.

He was 36 years old.

I turn 36 next Monday.

I have been afraid of this birthday for years. I know it's a crazy thing. And no one can really help me. How much can the words "there is nothing that was not a freak accident in both cases, the odds are against anything happening, just relax" really soothe?

I cannot forget the terror and sorrow when my mother called me to tell me my brother had died on the telephone. That woman has had to bear so much sadness in her life, I felt a little part of me die to see her so lost. I know parents are not supposed to have favorites, but I am "her boy" and I would trade all I have for a guarantee that nothing will happen to me while she is still alive. I am scared, I do not think she could handle it at all.

I am sharing this because I have sat on this fear for a long time. Maybe getting it out into the light will help me confront it. I know that this is not very rational, but I feel it just the same. 36 is coming up next Monday one way or the other.

Have a good night.

18 comments:

eradke said...

Sorry about your losses. I have had the same thing about 31 for different reasons. I know that, that thought has lead me to make bad decisions or fun decisions. When every I think about doom and gloom situations I usually can get over it by asking myself, "what if it doesn't happen". That does not mean you should not be prepared but there are somethings you should not have to be fully prepared for.

EconomicDisconnect said...

Thanks Eradke, appreciate you stopping in. I know it's not rational, but I can't help it. I am going to go all out just like I always do but I can't shake this feeling of worry, just have to deal with it. Looking forward to 37th birthday!

Anonymous said...

Well then by golly we will be celebrating for many more reasons on Tues... I'm not gonna tell you everything will be alright cause hell if I know it will.. BUT 36 was a good age for me and I will be Happy to share that year with you.. So be prepared for one of the best years of your existence..
T

EconomicDisconnect said...

Thanks T! Harvick almost had it today, Hamlin lucked out. Fear the #29 in the rearview. Just like the #3

Anonymous said...

Well ya fear him good too.. you see how Kyle Busch lost it with him stalking him.. ya it took no gas to save Hamlins butt haha
T

Josh said...

Sad stories indeed, horrible to hear and picture you going through. I think the way to cope is to turn this birthday into a celebration of the fact that you're here and standing and living the fuck out of life regardless of what's happened to you and those you love.

Make the 36th year the very best one you can.

Your friend Josh

EconomicDisconnect said...

Thanks Josh, yeah I am going all out, will not let it stop me. Hopefully there is another TBP conference this year and we can celebrate together.

GawainsGhost said...

All of 36, eh? Hell, boy, your just a young'un. Ill turn 52 in May.

I share your feelings about your mother. I feel the same about mine. You know, I can't imagine the emotions that flooded the first time she saw me the night of the wreck, because I was really fucked up. I am her boy. She slept on the floor of the emergency room every night for two weeks while I was in a coma. She would not leave my side.

The death of my father was rough on me as well. Good Lord, in and out of intensive care, on and off a respirator, bedridden, it took him two years to die. He actually died twice, but the first time my mother had him resuscitated. She then called me in a panic, crying, wondering if she had done the right thing. At least it gave him an extra year and a half. And eventually he did get better, was able to come home and walk around, play on his computer. I think those were some of the happiest days of his life. But we did have to keep taking him back to the hopital every other month or so. Eventually, he regressed and became progressively worse. These were difficult times.

Anyway, I don't pay much attention to birthdays. It's just another trip around the sun. And I don't fret over age. It's just a state of mind.

You'll be fine GYC. You'll probably live another fifty years.

EconomicDisconnect said...

Gawains, you always have the best tales and words to say, thank you my friend.

Andy Nyquist said...

Time is on your side and passion in your heart. Remember your brother and try to celebrate each day of "36" in his memory.

bpmf1911 said...

It will indeed be a great day for you, of that I am confident. Happy birthday and many more. Your departed would have wanted all the best for you so honor them by living your life and focus only on the future.

Jennifer Hillier said...

You're going to have an amazing year. Year of the Dragon, remember? Nothing bad is going to happen, only good things. Only the best things.

Don't forget to reach out to your friends when you feel low. We'll be here. xoxo

EconomicDisconnect said...

Andrew, thanks for the kind words.

Bpmf, thanks for stopping in man!

JH, yes, it's my year, year of the DRAGON!

LEGALGAMBLING said...

I wish I had magic words to take away your fears. Since life doesn't work that way you will be in my prayers. Living each day like it's your last will make for an amazing year. I can't wait to read your post the day you turn 37. Then we celebrate!

EconomicDisconnect said...

Legal, thanks! Yes, 37th birthday may well be a monster party.

chigrl said...

I am sorry about your loss....my mother passed away when she was 36 and my father at 26, so I always had it in the back of my head, that I too would meet an untimely death. However, I have just managed to outlive both my parents in age. Having just gotten over this age hurdle the fears have dissipated and I kow have this renewed outlook on life and realize just how much more time I have the possibility of having. Many decisions I made in my life were based on this irrational fear of doom and I wish I had the last 10 years or so back to possible make better/different decisions.
There is nothing I can really say to erase your fears, but I can say that I completely relate and I can tell you, once you get passed your birthday, and you are still here, your outlook will completely change...it may not seem so now, but it will.....
And it is an amazing feeling....
Let me know if you ever want to talk....there is only so much one can post publicly ....
Only good things are to come my friend....only the best...

David Batista said...

What the hell? I thought *I* was older than you by about a year (or maybe just several months?). I had no idea you precede me by about 6 months. I'll be turning 36 in September!

But, yeah, you see . . . you suffer the same grief I do, my friend. I never realized until now just how much so. I felt the same way about the age 26, since this is how old my mother was when she was taken from me. She was told by a psychic once that she would never live to see 27. And sure enough, she didn't. For a long time I dreaded that year coming for me, because when I was a kid 26 seemed so adult. But as I neared the age myself, I realized just how much of a kid I was still, and that my mother really was taken too young. I also refuse to ever go to a psychic, even though I don't believe in stuff like that.

I'm not going to say you shouldn't be afraid. But just hang in there, the year will come and pass and you will come out on the other side of it whole and hale. I did.

Oh, and I do the exact same thing with my grandmother. My greatest fear is something happening to me while she is still alive. She's had to bury far too many loved ones in her lifetime, and honestly she can't take any more. I never fear death for myself halfway as much as I do for those who love me most. I'd gladly take on all the world's burdens just to spare her another such heartbreak.

Very well written, man. Thanks for sharing!

EconomicDisconnect said...

Chigrl, thanks for sharing your story. I appreciate your leaving a comment, especially such a personal one.

David, yeah we have a lot in common!

Thanks all for all the support.