Momentous Occasions   Leave a comment

Ask anyone who knows me. I am great with details, but as every history teacher I ever had will attest to, I am terrible with dates. Truly, truly awful. I remember my birthday, and my son’s, because – duh – there’s cake involved. Ice cream cake in his case. Yum. I remember the Fourth of July (because the name is the date), and I had Christmas pounded into my skull by the time I was twelve or so. (My son still doesn’t always remember this one, which this Jewish mom counts as a win over societal pressures.) But anything else, not so much. I can’t tell you if something happened last month or three years ago. Dates simply don’t stick in my head, and if it’s not written down – I have three calendars, so most things get written down multiple times – it may as well never have happened or been scheduled.

That said, there are two inextricably linked dates I can’t get out of my head no matter how hard I try. The first is June 5, the day I was told my marriage was over. The second is September 1, the day that was my wedding anniversary.

The first anniversary date after my husband left was absolute hell extremely difficult for me. It was a Sunday, and due to the parenting schedule we had worked out, my son was with his dad that day, and I was alone. To say I was freaked out or upset is a serious understatement. I was pretty much bordering on hysterical. I made myself go out of town for lunch because I knew if I stayed in the house I would spend the day crying, which seemed neither healthy nor productive. I’d like to say I remember what else I did, but honestly I have absolutely no clue. (Because I have my priorities though, I do remember what I ate – sliders at a local burger place. I’m pretty sure they were good. I know they disappeared quickly.)

The next year was a little easier. The first fell on Labor Day, and we had friends over for a cookout. Between the food prep, being the host, and the clean-up afterward, I was tired enough to be able not to focus on the actual date. The year following was a work day, which made things easier still, even though my son, again, was out with his dad for dinner.

As the date rolled around this year, I grew apprehensive. This year the date held special – if bittersweet – significance. Why? Because this year would have been our twenty-fifth anniversary.

There are only a handful of events in my life I have dreamed about over the years – my wedding, the birth of my first child, my son’s bar mitzvah. And my twenty-fifth anniversary. I think it’s safe to say not a single one of them happened the way I had planned.

My wedding was lovely but felt kind of disconnected for some reason. Maybe it’s that way for other brides as well, who knows? All I know is it felt like I didn’t get to spend enough time with anyone – my grandmothers, my relatives who had come up from New Jersey, my friends – and by the end of the day, I was absolutely exhausted. The birth of my first child ended up being the scheduled C-section (after two months of bed rest) of my only child. Don’t get me wrong; I love my son, but I had always assumed there would be children in the plural, but circumstances and biology decided against that. The bar mitzvah was… Oh, if I can only pick one word, it would have to be uncomfortable. The focus – as it should have been – was on my son, who did a great job, and I was very proud of him, but the timing really couldn’t have been worse. Even though we had picked the date before my ex decided he no longer wished to be married, the ceremony ended up being the day after the divorce was finalized. And I have to admit, when I pictured the event in my head, while I had correctly imagined the pride and love I felt, the image hadn’t included my ex-husband’s new girlfriend being in attendance and trying to make nice with me. Funny that.

And then there was the anniversary party with our friends and family in attendance… Oh, wait. That didn’t actually happen, did it? Well, in my mind it was lovely.

(I’m thinking the moral here is to no longer plan these type of events in my head. After four strikes, I get the distinct feeling I’m better off just letting things happen.)

But honestly, what struck me the most about this year’s September 1 was how ordinary a day it was. I’d say it was a good one, except a few things happened at work that really kind of cheesed me off. But that’s not anything new. Or different. Or really all that unexpected.

It was just a day like most of my days.

And I guess that makes it momentous, too.


Posted September 3, 2016 by wordsaremylife in random thoughts

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