Celebrate life and death!
Today is a mixed celebration of life and death for me and I feel deeply reflective...
First, to my wonderful friend-adopted mother Twinka. She has lived and lives an incredible life full of adventure and experience. She is a famous model, the daughter of a celebrated painter, the caretaker of Henry Miller in his final years, a loving sister and mother, and a wonderful kind, generous human who always makes me laugh at the most absurd things. Twinka is one of my favorite people in my entire life and I am blessed to know her, to love her like family and be loved by her like a friend and a son. Happy 70th Birthday Twinkie!!!
Today was also my brother Kenny's birthday. He would have turned 50 this year. Kenny passed away earlier this year from complications from brain cancer and a stroke. My sister Renee and I were at his side when he went and it was one of the most difficult and beautiful things I have ever experienced all at once. His life was challenging from early on and he struggled with many demons. He also battled with dark times and nearly took his own life several times, yet when he was diagnosed with cancer 15 years ago and the surgery left him with disabilities, Kenny found the joy and silliness in everything. We were not as close as two brothers could be and the parent-family challenges we had to overcome made it difficult and complex for us to bond deeply. I will forever be saddened by this. We are very different people, but he was my brother and he will always be in my mind and heart. Today is especially challenging for my sister Renee who acted as Kenny's mother when our mother was unable to parent. I celebrate her for being such an incredible human being with the biggest heart I've ever experienced. Happy birthday Kenny, and you too Renee!
And to my friend Trent, who took his own life this time last year. We didn't know each other well and I'm not sure it was even possible, but I think of you often. You made an impact on me when you left and I am celebrating you today as well. I don't think you ever felt or believed you were loved, but soo many people loved you when you were alive and celebrated you when you passed. I only wish you could have felt the love when you were here and that you were still with us. No matter how hard it gets, love and gratitude will always bring us back to connection and I feel hurt that Trent didn't feel that and value his life as much as we did. I am celebrating you today Trent and I will always remember you, especially in this reflective time of year. You are missed!
Today I am reminded of birth and death - the bookends of living this complex human experience. We must celebrate both, because we don't exist unless we experience love and we're remembered when we leave. At some point, we will all become memories to the people we touch. I want to be a joyful memory for the people I love and the people that love me. Celebrate everyone special in your life and celebrate the friends and family who have moved on to the next level. We might just see them again someday and play together in the light. Until then, I choose to pursue the joy in everything I do and give my love, love, love without limits. I am also celebrating me and my amazing life today. Please celebrate you too. I am!
P.S. Thank you Sia for this moving song that helped me write today with raw emotion: https://youtu.be/ghPcYqn0p4Y