Wednesday, February 2, 2011

First Anniversary

How do you prepare for an anniversary like this? Unlike the usual dates that we await with anticipation, this one has loomed on my horizon for months. We have gotten through others--Mother's Day, his birthday, the holidays; one at a time they loom, descend, recede and each time I feel adrift in their wake but managing to keep it together. This one. This One. How do mothers manage such things?

I worried over what to do. Definitely I was not going to be at work, the thought was intolerable. But to be home all day, just thinking and mourning would not be right either. Go to his grave? No, because others will probably be there and this one day I cannot be there for others. Each milestone we passed I have done that, and this time I cannot. I know myself well enough to know that I would be caring for them and once again pushing my feelings aside. It has been a safe route until now because that is familiar territory. This time, I just can't do it. I need some space, and yet the very thought was frightening.

The answer that arrived unexpectedly is as silly as it sounds. Larry's VA appointment was rescheduled for tomorrow. I will go with him to the VA hospital, two hours away. We will probably take the slow route along the beautiful Ohio River and I will be able to talk with Larry, or not, just as I please. And probably cry. Not a day for make-up, that's for certain.

I will probably look back over the past year, and be amazed at what our family has accomplished. Two triathlons, their first ever. A large family turnout for a 2-mile run/walk. Promotions. Ventures into songwriting and a contract. First performances. First competitions. A marathon. Awards. Travel. Many family get-togethers. Losing Jon seemed to give each person the determination to do better, to be like Jon, to not let him down. Life moved on, marching perhaps a little grimly, but onward.

There are times when I honestly wish life would stand still for a moment, or even move backward to that last moment on the phone with him, when I could hear the happiness and excitement in his voice as he looked ahead to his trip to Scotland. I treasure that conversation and it seems as if every word is carved into my memory.

So tomorrow. Get through the day, and keep moving. After all, what else, really, is there to do but keep going, trying to make each day count for something. And remembering, always remembering.

If you would like to know Jon better, click here to read the posts I've written about him in the past year. He was quite a man.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is dreary in Leesburg today. In it's own way, it is fitting. A year ago, a bright light left this world. There doesn't seem to be anything to say or do that would begin to touch the loss felt by those who knew and loved him. Jon left a lasting imprint on everyone he met. Today, we carry that light within us. We will move on and we will me more mindful of our actions, our words, our endeavors because of his influence. Today, the light will be within us.

Remembering and missing you Jon.
Kate Putt

Janet, said...

I am so sorry Susanna, there is no greater loss than the loss of a child. I am sure he will always live on in your heart. I'll be thinking of you today.

Witch of Stitches said...

I will be thinking of you as you move through this.
XO

Brighid said...

Anything I say will not help you thru this time, so I'm just send a hug.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Granny Sue -- Since the loss of my son is still fresh I can only feel your heartache on this day. It is a struggle everyday and I don't know when and if it will ever end -- barbara

Ellie said...

My thoughts are with you. Three years ago, I lost a dear nephew to suicide. There will always be a hole, but you can fill the hole with memories. Blessings on you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Susanna,
Its me Karen from Si. I found your
blog awhile back and check it every now and then. I have thought of you alot lately. I know its hard but as you told me you are strong. I look to you and if you can make it through so can I. It is a struggle everyday and i have not had to go through this part yet. It does not get easier I have found that out. Cry it makes you feel a little better. Memories is what we have now and I cherish mine so much. Karen Kelly

Pam said...

I remember having to get thru that one year anniversary.

I dreaded it. I thought all I would do was cry. I tore myself up thinking how horrible getting thru the anniversary would be.

It wasn't horrible. It was a nice day, I survived, and was thankful for my strength.

Namaste.

Granny Sue said...

Thank you all for your kind words. Karen, Barbara and Pam, you especially know this journey and I appreciate your reminder that we are not alone; others have done this.

It was a good day. Quiet and relaxed like I had hoped, and not terrible. One step at a time, one day at a time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this, and for writing it so beautifully. I am so sorry for your loss. My family recently suffered a devastating loss, and much of what you said resonates with me. Especially the part about other people's feelings...I find it hard to grieve honestly when I am comforting my own mother, my children, and the others struggling to make sense of the senseless. I have to worry that my grief will compound theirs. Several well-meaning people have given me or recommended "insprational" writings which I find cloying and over-simplified. I found your blog purely by chance, but it is the first time I've read anything that made me feel like I'm not walking this dark path alone. Peace to you and your family.

Granny Sue said...

Anonymous, I hope you will stay in touch. you can email me too--my email address is in the contacts page. It helps to know others walking this path.

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