Thursday the 23rd I was moseying along, minding my own business, doing my thing when the husband comes up to me, mid-morning, and says: last year right now I thought I was healthy and my life was great. And my reaction was: Gulp. Crap. The anniversary of The Worst Christmas Of All Time starts today. And since the husband was on his way out the door to go to the hospital, the sense of déjà vu became almost oppressive, and I didn’t want him to go, cause what if they kept him there like in some weird time/space loop, where last year repeats itself over and over again à la “Groundhog Day”? But then he said, stop being crazy, I’m fine, I’ll see you later. I’ll. See. You. Later.
That night, he turned to kiss me good night and said, see, I’m sleeping here tonight, in our bed. I’m here. And there was relief in his voice. This past year was hard, I’ve said it again and again, but now it’s starting to feel like it’s finally over, like we can start letting go just a little bit.
My Dad died on February 5th 2006, and when the first anniversary of his passing came around I started freaking out just a little bit… I dreaded February 5th 2007, because in my head it felt like another ending. For the whole first year after his death I could think, last year today dad was in the office, or last year today we were on vacation together in Rio, or last year today he called and asked me this or that, but once I passed the one year mark from his death there couldn’t be any more last year todays because last year today he was already gone. So I dreaded the anniversary of his death because I would have no more recent memories of him, it felt like he was dying again. But that day came and went and what I had been dreading for a year, losing my father again, wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, on February 6th 2007 I started letting go a little bit, it’s not that I magically started missing him less, but it was a little less painful. That’s the grieving process for ya!
How does this little anecdote relate? Well, December 23rd felt like some sort of deadline too, I had the same feeling of dread, the same negative anticipation…. And yet it too came and went, and we can all truly start letting go now. The husband is doing ok, he’s got good days and bad days, but he is progressively getting better, it’s slow but steady and we’re ok with that.
I’ve mentioned in other posts that we’ve been having ups and downs lately, but on Thursday night I realized that much of the stress we’ve been under was due to this inauspicious date looming over us, I’m not saying everything is perfect now, but our hearts are certainly lighter. It seems strange to invest a date with so much meaning, with so much power, but it’s not something we did consciously, and it’s not easily explained. Suffice it to say that we counted our blessings and they are bountiful, so now when we look to the future we do so with less fear, anger and defeatism and more optimism, hope and faith. What more could we ask of the holiday season?