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.