I blame it on my dad.
He was the one who would announce above the cacophony of the dinner table;
"Do you know what today is? Today is the 20th anniversary of your mother and my second date."
Of course, there is a story about why their second date was more important to remember than their first, but that is not the point of this blog.
My point is that anniversaries are important to me. Not wedding anniversaries or birthdays necessarily, but random dates when you know your life has changed forever. Dates like a first date, or the first time you met someone, or a first kiss.
Or the day your husband died. OK, not quite as romantic as a first (or second) date anniversary, but a day I will never forget all the same.
The day Bob died, March 29th. A day my life changed forever.
Initially I noticed every 29th of the month. I could tell you exactly how many months and weeks he had been gone, similar to a new parent counting the weeks and months of their infant.
It has been seven years now.
That is a lot of months.
Seven is the "age of reason" according to my dad. I'm not sure I am any more reasonable about Bob's death than I was in the beginning. I am grateful for the time I had with him, but I still think I was cheated. I am glad he "gave" me the boys, but I still think they should have had more time with him. Most days I couldn't tell you how many months he has been gone, but I know the years, I know the date.
The first year I plotted and planned all year for this date. This year it snuck up on me. I was feeling edgy and weepy and discontent. I was easily annoyed (OK, even MORE easily annoyed). And I wasn't sure why.
Ah yes, it's March, that's right.
Bob was diagnosed in March, he died in March. March is long and dreary here in the Midwest, still winter, still brown and cold. I guess I just don't like March.
But it has been seven years. The age of reason.
"Why does it feel like he just died last week?" I ask my friend over lunch, my voice cracks and tears spring to my eyes. "It has been seven years, seven years."
"Grief isn't linear," she tells me.
Neither is it reasonable.
OK, I'm off for my second chai now..........
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