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I realize why I've been just sitting and ruminating all today -- not only because I have a long weekend, and CAN relax, but because I realize I really want to get next Sunday OVER WITH.

I look forward to seeing old friends, some flying in for this special occasion. I'm honored and touched by that. But to be honest, I also dread having to be social on Jack's birthday. I know the dinner won't be very long, and I know I'll have a good time, and make lots of good memories when I go. As an introvert, though, I have to gird up my loins to do it.

The truth is, unsurprisingly, that I want his birthday dinner WITH HIM. With other people also would be, will be nice, but obviously I want HIM. I want to celebrate his 70th birthday. Every year for the past nearly 20 years, we've gone to this wonderful Italian restaurant for my birthday and his. This will be the first time ever that he won't be around. And that makes me sad.

I haven't cried today, but now I am, and I know it's cathartic.

So two days on the calendar will be rough for a while: August 5 and October 9, because October 9 also brings up the other major loss in my life, my mother, who died October 9, 1980. For a long time, I got through that loss by focusing on having Jack's birthday to celebrate. Now that day will be a double remembrance.

I don't even care at all about Thanksgiving, and Jack and I had never done much for Christmas, so those will be relatively easy to get through. It's just these two other days that get me.

And now that I've admitted this, written it down, I can get off my butt and do something around here. Amazing how rumination and grief work.

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