A couple years ago, the date passed right by me. I was so wrapped up in my own trivial issues that I didn’t even realize the significance. Then my brother called, and it came crashing down on me with an avalanche of guilt (especially at how I had treated my family that day).
This year, the date has been looming over my head all month.
I don’t really know what I expect to happen on January 29, 2011. It’s just a normal day like any other. It’s not like I have a family gathering. It’s not like I have a cemetary to go to, a tombstone to stand in front of, or a memorial tree to visit (said tree being about 3000 miles away).
It’s not like I’ll be bombarded with encouragement. And why should I? It’s been eight years.
But that’s just it. It’s been eight years.
Does that matter? Is it even a big deal? Why do I feel this way?
The day is always awkward. It’s like we always go about it normally but there’s this underlying chord of sadness.
Like my dad’ll say, “Oh, I’m taking off that day,” but he’ll never explicitly say why. Or I’ll tell him, “I have something in the morning, but I’ll be home in the afternoon,” but I’ll never say why it’s so important that I spend time with him that day. Or my brother will be sure to give us a call, but we never talk about why that day is more important than any other. It’s unspoken, but it’s there.
But what can we really say? What can we even do? What is supposed to happen?
Maybe I hold this day close because it’s the one day I can be excused for being upset. I’m allowed to mourn, even though it’s been eight years. I’m expected to be sad. It’s okay to think about her. It’s okay to miss her. It’s okay to want comfort, to need to be consoled.
But it’s been eight years.
I hate putting a number to it.
I hate that this day has been hanging over my head.
But what am I going to do when it passes?
January 30th is just as crushing as the day before because now the anniversary is over. It’s time to go back to normal life. But I’m still sad. I still miss her. And yet life goes on.
Pray for my father.
Happy Eternal Birthday, Mom. Bet you’re partying with Jesus. Thanks for watching over me. I know you’re cheering me on up there. You’re cheering all of us on.