Isn’t it funny how we can go all of our lives living each day and month as the calendar pages are torn off or flipped back, and some dates just never really have any significance, and then one day…..
A child is born. On the same day you went to assembly in high school or gave a book report in second grade.
A wedding. On the day that you never had anything planned because it fell just after a birthday.
A new job. On the day you and your sister got each other’s sandwiches in your lunch boxes and you had to eat pimento cheese.
How for so many years, you just bumped by the day, working your way toward the special one circled in red on your calendar…..
and then, someone leaves this world, your life–the last breath is taken,
and suddenly–BAM– it’s November 13th, and the date will never be the same again.
Then there are the dates that start off as significant but eventually their importance seems to fade. Because they are no longer a part of your story or because, oh Heaven forbid, a year goes by and you forget to remember.
And then the tears come anyway. Just on another day. And for another reason.
Grieving the loss of the grief.
The flow of the tide back toward the ocean. Away from you where it’s been for so long, drowning you in the pain and memories.
That is hard.
And when you figure out you’ll be okay and you will survive even though you still miss her so much, that’s even harder.
It’s the stories of the “every days” that make life precious and meaningful, but it’s what we do with the dates in our stories that make us strong.
Strong because we celebrate.
Because we remember and honor.
Because we let go.
Because we continue to move through them, continuing to live right through our own final one, never knowing when that might be.
If there’s anything the calendar has taught me, it’s that it is a paradox. Despite the fact that it’s all quite predictable and that we know from a very early age January rolls around the same time every year, and “all the rest have thirty-one,” the fact is the time that fills those calendar squares and pages is anything but predictable.
We just never know what each day will bring. This year or next year or ten years from now. There are dates that pass us by now that one day will mean the world to us because our first grandchild will be born that day or we will get news that changes our life in a wonderful way….on. that. very. date.
Tonight I am thankful for the important dates in my life. The wonderful ones like birthdays and wedding anniversaries, and the hard ones like the dates folks I love went on up to the House. They are all a part of my story, and the tears and the joy and the sorrow and the quiet moments and the full-blown hootenannies all blend together to make the turning of the calendar pages a little easier to accept. Time passes. And sometimes it’s going to hurt. There’s no stopping it. But other times it’s going to be fabulous. Hang on to that.
Love to all.