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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Time Marches On

Yesterday marked a year since Doug broke his leg on the street .  It was an icy November afternoon, bone chillingly cold and a difficult, long day.  Yesterday was sunny and beautiful here, not too cold yet, and no signs of ice or snow.  We haven't even had much rain.  Doug started to repaint our bedroom, handling being on a ladder with ease.  I am very happy that I am not going to have to walk the dog alone for the next 4 months! It's amazing too because at the time, the Dr. said that it could take up to a year for the leg to fully heal and of course, we thought that was crazy.  But I must say that in just the last two weeks, Doug has noticed a significant shift in the pain and flexibility in his foot.  Perhaps there is something to this year time frame.  
Thinking about the "anniversary" of Doug's breaking his leg got me thinking about the way in which we mark time and remember events.  I am a "remember the date" person.  I like being tuned into the rhythm that remembering dates allows.  I am not entirely sure why marking time matters to me.  Maybe it helps us understand that we are growing, changing, moving ahead...or in some cases not.  Of course, we all want to remember and be remembered on the big days of our lives: birthdays and anniversaries, but what about the sad events of our lives...is it also not important to somehow mark the way in time goes by in light of those things as well?
Anniversaries of death for example are hard.  And the first year after a death is especially significant getting through all the "firsts" without your beloved.  People tend to be a bit more aware of all that people who have experienced loss are feeling during that first year.  Our hearts are heavy as a family as we face the coming holiday season without Debbie.  Her absence is felt every single day, but for some reason, during these seasons that you just count on being together but are not, well, the acuteness of loss strikes again.
But even as the years go by, marking significant moments remains important. A friend just marked the 3 year passing of her husband on 11-11-11.  Sunday another friend marks the 2 year passing of hers.  In March it'll be 5 years since my brother died.  In May, 5 years since my mom's ovarian cancer was diagnosed.  We feel incredibly grateful that she has survived this tough ordeal and still enjoying life.  We treasure every day we have.  And we mark time.  We count the years that go by, perhaps hoping to see growth and healing in our lives from the hard things, a swelling of joy and happiness from the good things.
 Time goes by so fast.  You hear so many people say that.  Maybe marking the significant moments in our lives is a way of somehow not allowing the passage of time to just completely overwhelm us.  So much of life is a blur.  I think it is a gift when the calendar reminds us of something significant that has happened in our lives.  Even the hard stuff.  After all, it is what life is about.  Moments, experiences, events, and people who have shaped and formed us.  At times, I am grateful to be able to order my world around remembrances.  Painful though some of it may be, I do think it helps us to understand more fully what truly matters, what's truly going on in the present, and how far we've come from the past.  I wish you peace when the difficult anniversaries of your life pass by and I wish you joy when you celebrate the wonderful ones too.