I was always striving for perfection, that Type A personality. I never quit or took a break at work or in my personal life. I never thought about a seventy-hour workweek. Pay didn’t matter since I was salaried. The end of 2001 brought a solemness to the world and me. Life was defined and fleeting.
Soon after the towers fell in NYC, I was planning my dearest relative an 85th birthday celebration. I was traveling for work and called my great aunt to make arrangements to pick up keys for the building the luncheon was being held but she wasn’t completely my aunt. Her responses to me weren’t wholly her. I knew as I hung up that she had a brain tumor. I called relatives that were closer and able to get her to the hospital. Instead of a happy celebration of life, that weekend I was at her bedside holding her hand knowing this was her last birthday. She was diagnosed with brain cancer and refused treatment.
I always joked that when my aunt Lib passed my friends should just commit me. Maybe I had always kept it together for her. New Year’s Eve I took communion drunk in her kitchen. Within three weeks I would be having an affair and asking my husband to leave. I still worked however I physically became sick by February. The doctors put me on Zoloft and antibiotics. I had a reaction to the antibiotics and was on other medication for another month and not cleared for traveling for my job.