Thursday, 27 July 2017

Anniversaries



So one of the hallmarks of a married life together are wedding anniversaries. Mine (yes it's only mine now) was on Sunday. If Terry had lived we would have celebrated 35 years married, or 36 years, 8 months and 27 days since I first met him. I was with him from the day I met him, so the day we married is special but the real hallmark is October 2nd, 1980 the day I fell in love with him and knew I'd marry him. Life is funny that way, at least mine has been with crazy stuff like that. I am so overcome with profound tiredness right now I can't write and I must sleep instead.

That was weird, the fatigue overcame me like a wet blanket. Like I was drowning in this water unable to reach that buoy to hold onto. I crawled to my bed cried myself to sleep and woke nine and a half hours later. It's morning now. I am semi refreshed and on the ferry heading to my work.  I think I may have dreamt of him, I am unsure because this is very unusual and so wanted that I may have conjured it up as a daydream or wishful thinking memories but I had a flash of seeing him, young and tanned and talking a blue streak to me happy about something. I kinda doubt this and am untrusting of such privilege - that he'd visit me on a night I so needed him to - but maybe just maybe I did dream this. Anyway what a difficult post to write but not sure why yet...?.  So back to hallmarks. Sunday ......35 years ago I married him...........and I forgot. I did not once pause throughout that day to remember. I did not remember my wedding anniversary. At work on Monday while having breakfast with a colleague I glanced at the calendar above her head and noticed it was July 24th. One day after the 23rd, one day after what we could have been celebrating had he lived. I was overcome with sadness. I could feel my old friends self deprecation and depression waiting in the wings to pounce. I finished my breakfast, went to my office closed the door and buried myself in work. Sad still but stuffing it down to wherever in my body that goes.

You see when I was going through the first very difficult months of grieving for my husband I vividly remember crying (to that same person I was having breakfast with actually) and telling her how I was going to forget. I would forget our life together, his smell, his voice, all that mattered, all that was my world would not be anymore. This was my biggest fear because grief has no rationality, it didn't then it doesn't now. I don't know why I would fear this, how can you forget half a lifetime?  I can't and I won't, I just really fear I will. And in that moment of seeing the calendar I felt that fear again. I never want to be that lonely, that I can't even have my memories (seriously kill me instead).

But after some sober second thought and through a conversation with a dear friend the next night I came to see that it isn't the day, it isn't about the dress, the ceremony etc., it's about the marriage. I said yes everyday of that marriage, not just on July 23rd, 1982, not just "yes to the dress" but to the day in and day out hard work of a long marriage.  I said yes everyday and I was there everyday right to the bittersweet sorrowful last second of it. I was there. I remember it. I could never forget that. If I think really hard with no distraction I can see his face, hear his voice, remember his words and what we shared over those years. This is honoring the hallmarks, the remembering of each silly funny loving sweet embarrassing awful sad joyful moment of our life together.

I see him now cooking for me on the Coleman stove in the highlands of Cape Breton, the salmon and corn he made that night, how a crow sat watching us and he remarked on it. I remember him giving me my emerald ring on our sixth wedding anniversary, storming off from the car in the middle of Halifax pissed at me over some stupid fight. It's all there, the good, the bad, the mundane. The life of a marriage. I celebrated, rejoiced, mused, fussed, felt boredom, angst, passion, anger, disappointment, love, sadness and hope everyday. We lived it out him and I. Today I alone remember it. I won't forget the total, maybe some of the parts and the dates as they go by, but never the sum total of them all.

This is me forgetting to remember my 35th wedding anniversary.

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