A Year and a DayPosted: July 17, 2013
Fair warning: this post is going to be a bit of a downer. If you want something to cheer you up, here’s a video of some baby pandas on a slide.
So yeah. Yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s passing. Which is a nice euphemistic way of saying I lost one of the greatest men and influences in my life, and my entire family and the world was diminished. Not something you want to denote with an “anniversary”, and yet it was something I couldn’t avoid being aware of for several days beforehand and dwelling on for most of the day.
And now today is “a year and a day”. Historically this is a length of time with great significance, with many precedents. Of particular interest to me is the notion of mourning for a year and a day. I actually thought about this (not coincidentally) about a year ago, when I realized very quickly all the holidays and other events that would be coming up without Dad around to see them. Every one of them would be “the first (insert holiday) without Dad”. And yesterday was the first anniversary of his passing, which was the one holiday I never wanted to have, with or without him (although I suppose having it with him would have been odd and more than a little creepy). And so… today is a year and a day. There are no more “firsts” to endure. Everything has been trodden, everything is old hat, or at least as much as it ever will be. Each day that follows will no longer be “the first time without Dad”. So what do I make of it instead?
I have decided that I am going to make this year about reclamation. I am going to take back every single day that I lost. Not that I regret mourning, because I needed to take the time to understand what I felt, to get through it, and be able to move on from what happened. But that time is over, and more importantly so many other times in my life are over, times that had become old and stale and lost their meaning long before I was willing to let them go, and I have at last decided I am ready to let go of all of it.
Starting today, I am reclaiming my life, and I am reclaiming myself. I have let too many things languish, and I have let too many things stagnate. I have decided to give myself a year and a day to make a change, a real, positive, and noticeable change in my own circumstances. Life is for the living, and I am tired of merely existing.
Who’s with me?