13 August 2007

My mind, where did you go?

Conversation with my dad today, in the car on the way to pick up the twins*:

Father: I've been thinking about you a lot this week, wondering how you're feeling about tomorrow.
Me: Um . . . tomorrow?
Father: Since it's a significant date and all.
Me: Um . . . [Throw me a bone!] . . . [But John died on the 11th; two days ago was a significant date!] . . . Well, I've been really busy.
Father: I know you planned the memorial for right around your anniversary for a number of reasons, and I just wanted to know how you were feeling about all that.
Me: [Shit! I forgot my anniversary!] I wanted to have the memorial around my anniversary so that I'd be with friends during a rough time. Thing is, I've been so busy that I forgot it was our anniversary!

I cried the whole way home after that. I'm so preoccupied lately that the four-month anniversary of John's death went by in a blur of BBQs and barfy babies and exhaustion. Now I forgot our third anniversary. To be fair, we weren't real anniversary celebrators; a nice meal together was the most we did. But still.

I miss John all the time. But at the same time, I don't have much time to think about missing John. It's a paradox, but true. I have so much on my mind dealing with the day to day that the big picture passes me by sometimes. I feel guilty, like I don't do enough to honor John's memory by remembering the dates. I mean, his ashes are still in the world's ugliest brown plastic box on our bookshelves even though it's my intention to find something more meaningful and, well, honorable. I have heard myself call our bedroom my bedroom, my room, which technically it is, but when did I start thinking of it that way? How?

We went on our first date on April 5, 2003. John died on April 11, 2007. Four years. We got four years. Tomorrow, three years of marriage. It may be my bedroom now, but I certainly still think of myself as married. That thinking is not going to change for a long, long time.

*Twins were back to their crabby ways tonight. They ate much better, which was great, but then cried and cried until bedtime. Then Riley sobbed after I put him to bed. He hasn't done that in MONTHS. He calmed right down when I went back in and resettled him, but I felt so bad for them. Poor tired babies.


Anonymous said...

You honor his memory every day by loving and raising his babies ... your babies. He is irreplaceable, but he left behind two beautiful parts of himself with you, living, breathing manifestations of your love for each other and the happiness you shared.

I don't know either of you personally, but I suspect that you loving and raising his children, even with all the stress that sometimes brings, would mean a whole lot more to him the acknowledgment of dates and anniversaries.

Mandy said...

Every day of loving your babies is honoring your husband. Each day that you take on the tasks of mother and father, it's there.

I didn't know your husband so it would be inconsiderate of me to say "he wouldn't want you to think you weren't honoring him enough, based only on dates." I'm in no position to tell you what he'd want. Still, there's likely some truth to that. You miss him, you think of good times and bad, and you wish he were still here. Nothing more is required,and whatever you do or feel at the time is right.

Sending big hugs your way.

Mandy said...

Holy guacamole - we must be right, anonymous and I were posting at the same time and yet we said almost the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I think you're being too hard on yourself. There are no rules for grieving, and it is obvious you loved John very much.

scarp said...

In my limited experience with grief, it seems to almost always come with a dose of guilt. I know I felt really odd recently, a little guilty, when I went to the first family reunion since Grandma died, and didn't miss her presence that day. It always seemed like we were all there for her sake, and I really wasn't sure what to expect as I prepared for the first time without her....and then realized a couple of days later that I'd hardly given it any thought. It's like our mind and hearts are determined to heal despite ourselves sometimes. Or maybe just go numb without our permission so it won't overwhelm us...

Amy said...

You went on your first date in April and were married in August the same year? Wow! You don't hear of fast courtships like that very often any more! Tell us about it!

Hang in there.

Amy (who used to live in Medford)

Snickollet said...


Yeah, my mind and where it went, let's revisit that. I changed the date in the post, but we had our first date on April 5, 2003 (THREE not four) and got married in August of 2004. So that's actually four years we got together.

We did decide to move in together three months after our first date, and we got engaged eight months after our first date, so we were definitely on the fast track, just not quite as fast as I made it sound.

And I cheated myself out of a year! LAME!

Michelle said...

Thursday will be my 26th anniversary with my first husband - and two weeks later will be 15 with my second. I had not quite 5 years the first time...

Try to find the layers in the day? I find that grief and joy mix in funny ways on those anniversary days (I sometimes think it's husband #1 quirky sense of humor playing out!).

soralis said...

Sweetie I can't imagine how you keep track of time these days with all that you have going on. Try not to be to hard on yourself. Take care

Jolene said...

I don't have to say anything that hasn't already been said but to go along with the others, you honor John every.single.day you are raising the children you both brought into this world together. You only got 4 years together...life is so damn unfair sometimes. :(

Anonymous said...

Just catching up here on your last few posts, thinking of you and hoping that the memorial goes well. Hope the babies stay well too, I hate the pukies with the kids...and all the visitors coming to town, girl take advantage of that free babysitting, have your alone time and relish it! Don't be so tough on yourself, I'm not good with date stuff personally, so I get a little the guilt feeling of that, but give yourself a break, you're doing a lot with a little right now. Treading water takes lots of energy when you have to do it for a long period of time, I hear you on that...I believe in you and I know I'm not alone in that thought.

Lots of love,

Amy said...

Hi Snick,

Okay, that makes more sense! My in-laws were married 6 months after they met, but that was back in 1971 and you don't hear of those fast courtships nowadays. Good luck with everything this weekend.

Amy from Medford

Yankee T said...

What everyone else said about honoring his memory.

You got ripped off by the calendar of life. I'm sorry.

liz said...

Also, given how busy you are with the kiddoes, you might have forgotten this date even if he were here to celebrate it with you. Give yourself a wee break, okay?

Hugs to you and to your babies.

susan said...

anniversaries are definitely hard to remember with little kids clamoring for so much attention. You remember John always. Hugs to all of you.