Another year goes by and it's already January 17th.
How is it possible that time flies in such a way? How is it possible that my daughter will turn four next month?
It's all possible. It's incredible how time feels so fleeting one minute, and as though it drags the next.
If you've been with me for a year you may have read my post last January 17th. If you haven't, I'll provide you with the link shortly. Today is quite a day for me and my family. It's a rough one, not just once, but two times over.
Back in 1996 we lost my grandmother after a long and awful battle with Alzheimer's. She had been in a nursing home for 13 years, so I can't say it was unexpected, but it stung like you'd never imagine. Or maybe you can, if you've suffered that kind of loss yourself.
I flash back to the memory of when I just knew here in my post titled Today, from 2010.
That was hard enough for my mind and heart to deal with. That was enough of a reason to find no joy on the 17th of this cold and wintry month.
Fast forward a few years and my younger self decided to stay home in memory of my grandmother. It was MLK day, just like today, so it was a Monday. I decided that even though my company was not closed for the holiday, I surely deserved a mental health/personal day. I gave myself a little time to wallow in the loss of the last grandparent I had left.
The day was nearly over. I had survived another year. And then ...
My cousin's husband died. That same day. Four years later. The day after their 1 year wedding anniversary. Is that even possible? Is that even allowed? I mean, seriously. What kind of G-d awful joke was this? It was crueler than I could ever imagine. Benny was like a brother to me. He was the kindest and most open-hearted individual you'd ever meet. He served our city as a member of the NYPD, I felt safer around him than anyone else I knew. Even at Yankee Stadium. That's totally tongue-in-cheek, I promise. I'm a Mets fan, and somehow I wound up with him, my cousin and my uncle at a playoff game in the Bronx many moons ago, and the simple fact that we had him there with us was just warming. I don't know. Maybe there are no true words to explain it all.
I've already cried this morning while talking to my mom, and that was a response to the pain of losing my grandmother. And yet, for some reason, my mind thinks of him. My head and heart say he would have been 38 right now. Just like me. He's been gone 11 years. How in the hell is that fair?
Maybe it's that I watch my child today, playing, open and honest, totally raw ... and I think to myself of how unfair it is that he never got to be a father. Never got to experience so much. It makes me say to myself, and to others, that we should never ever take the every day for granted. We should always honor ourselves in the way we would honor those we've lost.
On a happier note I found out about an hour ago that my brother's best friend's wife had a baby boy this morning. Somehow I just *knew* and felt that she would give birth today. See, they were at that wedding 12 years ago yesterday. I have the pictures and the memories, and it just seemed right to me that her baby arrive today. Maybe somehow, now, finally, there can be a blessing on the 17th of January that takes away the sting of the losses I've experienced. Maybe this little bundle of blue can remind me that there is good in our world and love can be so powerful it can help us rise above any and everything else.
Maybe I'm just rambling some more. I know I was way more eloquent last year - but it's rough when you wake up and your mind is full of what-ifs.
Either way, thanks for *listening* ... as always it's great to have this space to just let the thoughts roam free. And if you can, say a small something for my cousin, who lost her mom almost two years ago March, and still grieves for her husband in a way that words cannot truly define. I think of her all the time - can't imagine the things she has experienced at her own young age. Sometimes I just wish I could have a temporary rewind, to give us a small glimpse of what used to be. Instead I'll just look ahead, and remember in my heart all that has been.