As the fifth of eight children growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother struggling to make ends meet, I concluded early in life that taking care of myself was mostly up to me. Thirty years later and in an unhealthy marriage I still clung to that childhood belief. As my marriage continued in a desperate decline, I remained cautious with confidants. Countless kind friends were willing to give a listening ear or a bit of advice, but the combination of my fear of being found out and my shame for being in a bad marriage kept me acting
I say it every year – regardless of the gradual hike upward in age – I LOVE my birthday. I love a day designed for simply celebrating your own unique existence. This year I charged at my birthday with the same gusto as my nine-year-old daughter (who coincidentally celebrates her birthday the day after mine). I went so far as to put the party planning techniques I have mastered for my daughters’ birthday parties to use for my own. I hosted a Celebration of Sparkle in honor of the women in my life who contribute to my sparkle. My intentions
The romance concierge carefully arranged the large heart of rose petals on the linen covered table for two. The night before the young couple spoke their solemn vows on the beach and danced under the stars and moon of Mexico. It was an elegant resort with uniformed staff and marble columns at every turn. For a week I spent afternoons poolside. I watched couples take turns putting suntan lotion on the shoulders and backs of one another. At sunset, the view of the ocean filled with couples sauntering in the sand, hand in hand. I remember my honeymoon in Mexico.
Melodee and I became friends in an era when BFF was not a part of the lexicon of friendship. 33 years after first meeting in her Boston apartment, we have earned the respective titles. We both married lawyer husbands, had two children, celebrated great career achievements and dismal failures. We saw one another through illness, the deaths of our mothers, divorce, and happy second marriages. Through it all, I learned the value of asking for what I need from a friend. When going through a big life challenge like divorce, our friends want to help. They see our suffering and