Friday, December 11, 2009

Not-so-happy anniversary

Today would have been my parents' 49th wedding anniversary. We called my mom earlier today, and it seemed beyond abnormal to not be wishing her a happy anniversary, to not wait for my dad to fetch the phone, to not count the years and let both of them know we're glad they decided to get married. Because that one decision made our entire present and future possible.

And as much as I wanted to let her know I'd like to still celebrate today - because the legacy of us that they left behind continues to flourish in his absence - I couldn't. I didn't want to remind her (of course she knew, but still.) Didn't want to make her sad. Didn't want to make the obvious even more so. Today is just like yesterday in that I still have my immediate family around me, while she does not. That'll be true tomorrow as well, and while I don't have any answers for making it easier, I often find myself remaining silent for fear of touching off a painful moment.

I guess I'm still learning, still picking my way through this strange and very odd journey, and I'm not entirely sure I'm doing any of this in a remotely correct manner. I just didn't want today to slip into history without some sort of tangible moment to remember it. Because while the man may no longer be with us, I'm not yet ready to let go of the milestones he and my mom marked along their journey together.

9 comments:

Cloudia said...

Yup, first Hannukah without my dad....

I feel ya, Carmi


Shalom & Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Peter McDonald said...

My Dad (step-Dad actually...but so much more than that really) passed on Oct 15 this year, a date shared by my youngest daughter, my step-daughter and myself...our birthdays. I very much understand this post, Carmi - we are gathering at my parent's house this Christmas to celebrate the holiday together for the first/last time. The first without Alf, the last because the house will be sold and my Mom will move to a more appropriately sized and supported residence.
We take comfort in the 83 years life gave him and the 31 that he shared with my side of our family.

Peace

AussiePomm said...

Carmi,
As you may know, I lost my wife in April, and the 11th December is her birthday, where this year, she was to turn 40.
However, her work wanted to 'momorialise' (if there is such a word!) her, and they dedicated a tree planting in her memory!
And we as family, celebrated her all the same as if she was here... She lead a fun filled life for those nearly 40 years, and I thought it fitting that we celebrate it.
So, my friend, I suggest to you and your family, celebrate the wedding anniversary, for as you say, without it, what would your future have been?
I am about to do a post on my blog with the photos from the day (I would have done this much sooner, but it has been a very full couple of day!) soon, so pop on over and have a look!
May he rest in peace!
My thoughts are with you all...

kenju said...

You'll never let them go, Carmi. They are part and parcel of your lives. I don't know about your mom, but I wouldn't mind being reminded of anniversaries, etc., if mr. kenju dies first.

Mojo said...

I've gone through this same dichotomy every October 11th for the last 9 years. What do I say? Should I say anything? Two of them were especially difficult. In October 2000 came the first non-iversary which was tough, but not so tough as October 2008 when the 11th would have -- I'll go as far as should have -- brought them around to 50 years.

I hate to sound discouraging, especially today of all days, but I don't know if it gets any easier.

For her 50th, I took my mom along to a cultural festival in Cary celebrating the Hindu holiday Diwali (the Festival of Lights, ironically enough). At one point in the evening, she turned to me and said "I don't know if your Dad would have thought of this, but he would have enjoyed it."

But I had the advantage of having my mom close at hand, not in another state. So what worked for me that time may not be viable for you. I am confident, however, of one thing. Whatever thing you choose to do or not, it will be the right thing.

Happy Hannukah my friend. And L'Chaim.

Anonymous said...

My husband (and best friend) died almost 9 years ago. Some days, such as his birthday and our anniversary, are still very sad for me. It would neither make me feel better or worse if my (adult) children acknowledged these days to me. But I don't mention them, because if my kids aren't already thinking about them, I don't want to bring them up and make them feel bad. Maybe they feel the same.

Open communication is a good thing. Your mom can always simply say "thank you" and make it clear that she doesn't want to talk about it, if that's the case.

My heart goes out to you this holiday season.

g said...

It's very hard to mark these occasions for the first time without someone who was so much a part of it. How is your mom holding up? I remember how my mom reacted to Dad's passing - with her she began to retreat into herself and we didn't notice at first.

John said...

I think you are wise to remember it for what it was--happy; admit it for what it is--a sadness; hope for what it can be--a good memory.

Losses never leave you, or they wouldn't be called losses. They are yours to do with as you will.

Pamela said...

You remembered and called -- that was the best thing.

My great Auntie Fern (who will be 101 in April) still celebrates those special days. They are still important!