When I was in my 20’s I thought deliberately about my life. I ran away from home on purpose, once when I was 9 or 10; and ten years later to escape my familty by marrying a man who turned out to be that cheating husband. Before I dropped out in a liberating, existential, unplanned act to join the Movement, I had planned a career. A straight line life. This is what I mean by planning: to see a trajectory and act to follow it to its conclusion. When my end of the movement faded in the mid 19070s I planned a pregnancy, married Stew when I was 8 months along (still a rebel against bourgoise conformity) and entered two of three careers -sociologist followed by fundraiser – in which I was the family breadwinner. I retired, met & married David & now attempt to be an author. Perhaps not altogether straight but still a line. Or so I saw it.
Stew often called me a naive optimist. In all my plans and imaginings about what might happen with my life, I never included or expected to have two dead husbands. Yes, I fully indulged in the fantasy of a heroic death for myself or Stew on the barricades of revolution but Death did not fit in any way with my go-getter, optimistic image of myself. I don’t want to sound too Stalinist but my Communist Party upbringing did teach me to be invested in achieving goals so I could live a worthy life.
I need acknowledgement for my life accomplishments on this birthday. Especially getting through the deaths of the two people closest to me. But David isn’t here to give me that affirmation. Nor is Stew. Is that why I wake-up sad? D’uh.