Today is the anniversary of one of the saddest days of my life.
On January 17th, 1996 I came home from work, walked up to my parents' house and saw my brother on the porch, at the top of the stairs and I knew. My grandmother had passed away. So much changed for our family on that day, and my heart has never been the same since. I can still feel the walk home from the bus stop. I can still see my brother's face as I started up the stairs. On this day I remember it more than ever.
The anniversary of my grandmother's passing had always been difficult for me. For all of us. While I took time each year to think of her, hold her in my heart on that day, and miss her a little more than usual, I decided on the 4th Anniversary of her passing to take the day off from work. It was a Monday, and the Martin Luther King holiday, and I felt I deserved the day. Maybe it was a mental health day, maybe it was just something I needed. Maybe I knew?
So I spent much of the day in my room. I read a book (Bee Season, by Myla Goldberg) I ate crap, I probably watched some TV and hung out with my cat. I barely remember it. It was that irrelevant in so many ways.
I was cooking dinner, the pasta was in the pot on the stove in the tiniest kitchen ever. The phone rang and it was my brother. My cousin's husband had died unexpectedly that morning. It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. Impossible. We were exactly the same age. Two weeks apart. He was kind of like a big brother to me. How could he be gone? I think I collapsed to the floor. I remember my husband (not married yet) coming to me as I screamed? Cried?
How is it possible that the universe took two very special people out of my life on the same exact *date* of the year? If there is rhyme or reason I just don't get it. It simply sucks. Maybe the world doesn't want me weepy an extra day, as I already have enough loss to remember? Maybe there was some sort of symbolism of the day? Date? Who knows?
I'd like to say that I have stopped asking, but I haven't. I still ask. I still remember. I still miss them. Both of them. Very, very much. One woman who knew me my entire life, and one young man who I knew for a short enough time to feel he was family.
So as the skies opened up outside my house today, I felt it was right. The tears fell from above, and that was enough for me to know ... I'm not sure what, exactly. I just know that the day was the way it was supposed to be.