Weathering anniversaries

I woke up this morning not quite right. I had every intention of getting in my car and driving to the gym and even went as far as starting the coffee and getting dressed. I paced around the bedroom and then against my better judgement, abandoned the idea altogether.

“Well, if you’re not going to the gym then do something somewhat productive before you start work,” I muttered to myself. Living alone I have a lot of these solitary conversations and battles with myself. I seem to lose a lot of them. I grabbed the calendar and October loomed before me. I was hell bent on planning a date to get together with friends for a dinner that had been postponed, and setting up some other overdue appointments.

But there it was. Today’s date October 3rd – my wedding anniversary. “Shit,” I said out loud. I’d almost managed to put it aside, but like most milestones on the grief journey, there is no walking around it. They always end up looming large and monstrous.

Grabbing my coffee, I took up my station in the easy chair by the picture window in the living room. A foggy, drizzly morning on the lake at this early hour. James had proposed to me on a drizzly rainy day, I recalled. He had even gotten down on one knee on a covered bridge at a local park that November day years back.

At last my love has come along
My lonely days are over and life is like a song, oh yeah
At last the skies above are blue…
Etta James

My wedding day proved to be a downright deluge. I did not care. I embraced the bad weather and even skipped down the aisle toward my future husband in brightly flowered Wellingtons. Nothing spoiled that day for me. At long last, my future was bright. I danced every dance, and ate and drank with my closest friends and family in the dry safety of the reception hall while the skies opened up.

Another day of rain and drizzle proved quite the opposite. The day James died. I had gotten the call from the veterinary office that cold March morning that he had been taken to the hospital. I rushed around the house looking for his car keys, since he had taken my vehicle to the vets office with the cat. I could not find them and ended up taking a taxi. It was an incredibly slow and painful journey as the taxi driver did not seem to know the way and chatted incessantly.

Days later I found James’ car keys in the same nightstand drawer that I know I had searched on that fateful day. He did not want me driving in the freezing rain that day, I know it. He was my umbrella even in death, trying to protect and shelter me.

James had loved the rain. He would sit outside on the porch during thunder storms, reveling in the special effects that only Mother Nature could provide. I try to love it too, but it’s too entangled in my memories of him and what I’ve had to weather since.


3 thoughts on “Weathering anniversaries

  1. Your wedding day was filled with so many joyous moments. From seeing you in your wedding dress for the first time, to practicing walking down the aisle with Grace, to watching James as he watched you prance down the aisle in those crazy boots, to your dad sitting as the patriarch watching all the happenings, to the singing in the tavern and brunch the next morn. I know the anniversary is a very, very difficult day and I thought of you often yesterday with sadness in my heart. But I also thoughts of these memories and I was so grateful to have shared the day with you and James.


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