The date of my parents’ wedding anniversary. The date of my dear friends’ wedding anniversary.
David was not one who wanted to mark special days. I have always been rather ambivalent about it and so we fell into the pattern of very low key birthday and anniversary celebrations. Sometimes going out to eat, one surprise birthday for me, a few times going out with friends, but when we moved to Indiana our wedding anniversary fell on or very near to the beginning of the school year which further dampened any celebration. We were all about the beginning of any school year. I have always felt the first days of school to be another chance at a new year, another beginning, a joyous event. This year it will quite appropriately mark the end of my fallow year.
But back to topic, the days that others put so much emphasis on - at least in my family of origin - we put little. But, another but, another a jog in the road, now I am left with being one of few, if any others, who remembers that it was my parents’ wedding date. I look at the pictures I have from that date -- formal portraits -- and see those young faces. Except for their flower girl, who is in her 70’s, every one of those young people are gone. Gotten old, lost dreams and hope, felt joy and love, was terribly disappointed. And died.
I could look at my own wedding pictures -- not a formal portrait among them -- in the same way. But in my case, it is not everyone who is gone. Only the grandparents and parents. There are uncles left for which I am very grateful. There are siblings and dear, dear friends. But it is David who is gone.
Next week, two years gone. I ruminate and scribble day in and out about his being two years gone. How can I still be surprised by it? How is it possible that I am actually growing in acceptance of it. I can still cry and want no part of healing, but every moment of every day is not as painful. There is still the question of feeling joy again. Others and experts say it is possible. I trust they are correct, but I am not there yet.
Julia is with her swim instructor. Did I write that the instructor is a lifeguard and has also worked as a line therapist for kids with autism? I go to pay for the lessons and the woman taking my check says that she will give it to some manager, “Very few kids take private lessons. I have no way of entering it into the computer.” In every instance, it seems to me, Julia is the one who defies the norm. And if I can wallow in the self-pity of the moment, which I certainly will do, it is so very difficult for me going through my own mucky journey to be reminded constantly that my child is unlike all the others. My ears hear that she cannot measure up to the others, that she will never be able to participate, that her differences are great weights around both of our shoulders. And in those moments, I do not know how I will live the journey. It is all too heavy.