It was an unexpected find when I came to this blog, my safe haven, to reminisce on the past 7 years, only to find my unpublished post from last year. I am happy I did stumble upon it because there have been differences, changes in me, changes in my life that made me forget about where I was just a year ago.
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Seven years. Seven years, wow. Seven years is a long time. It's so long that there are so many new people in my life that don't even know what happened seven years ago. They don't know that I was widowed. They don't know how I chose to stay in New York City alone. They don't know how I raised my son alone for four years. They don't know that my husband took his own life. And to be honest, sometimes, I forget too.
This past year has been extremely difficult and stressful. My son was having behavioral issues that worried me tremendously last year at this time. My best friend had just found out the she had cancer. Later on in the year, we found out that my grandfather had cancer. He passed away just last month, just days after my cousin died from pancreatitis. My cousin was only 22 years old and had spent a month in the hospital before my aunt had to make the excruciating decision to let him go after the doctors told her there was nothing more they could do for him. My mind was occupied with worry. It still is. Although my son is back to his old self and my best friend is in remission, there is one condition that I didn't yet share, and that is my mother. She has early on-set dementia. It's been about 2 years since we suspected and the testing began. She is still with us mentally. She has not forgotten our names and major events. But her short term memory has been shaken. And it is noticeable. And it is heartbreaking. Daily thoughts of my mother and her condition have seemed to replace my daily thoughts of Dale.
I was happy to be reminded from the post I wrote last year of how much I still thought of him. It was nice to read that those thoughts were all mainly positive ones. Unfortunately now, just a year later, I can't say that I think of him daily. I still think of him often. But not as much and not deeply.
Seven years ago, my world was silenced. You know how you feel after going to an extremely loud concert? When your ears are still pounding, yet you have a deafening daze about you? That's how it felt when I got the call seven years ago. I felt like I was in a daze. I could hear and see the world around me, but it was as if there was a layer of fog between us. Over time that fog lifted, but it always returned in May. That first day, it can back immediately. The countdown began May 1 and it was a painful 17 days until it came.
I am always very well aware of the date, but this year, it didn't hit me until tonight, a few hours ago. Once the night wound down and my son went to bed, the memories became to surface. It's different though. It's not a countdown of events. It's not the wonder of what he was thinking or doing the days before or even the hours and minutes before. It's now just a day, a day that I still wish I could erase from the calendar, but a day that still brings that foggy daze of silence.
My son, who is now 8, has been asking about the anniversary date. He has a memory like his father and its now locked in. He has requested that we look at pictures, watch videos, and go through a chest of his belongings tomorrow, before we go out to dinner to one Dale's favorite restaurants. I am happy that Ewan wants to do things to celebrate his father. I am happy that he initiated it too.
So that's all I have for tonight. My writing seems dull, I know. But despite that, I will still press publish, so that next year I can look back and see how life has changed.