Every year around this time I celebrate a sort of anniversary. On the 29th of May many years ago, I suffered a traumatizing and life changing experience. Each year since then, I have celebrated being alive somehow by going to amusement parks, spas, or anything that makes me feel spoiled and ridiculously alive. I did this each year… until last year. Last year I wrote about The Anniversary Uncelebrated, and the sense of assimilation it gave me. It felt okay to let the day just be – not to deny it or defy it.
I expected to do the same this year. I didn’t forget the day, but there was already too much going on in my life to give it more than a brief nod and then move on.
Two weeks ago my 18 month old broke the largest bone in his body and is still in a half body cast. He has trouble getting comfortable and sleeping, and is very frustrated at being immobile. On this particular May 29th, my husband was out of town, I hurt my back lifting my casted son, and I hadn’t slept in about two days. My mother was in town, who also hadn’t really slept in two days.
Before the day had even started, it was bursting at the seams with tasks, stress, an injured toddler who refused to sleep, a preschooler to get off to school, and work to finish online. It wasn’t until noon that I got around to opening the envelope left on my nightstand by Hot Nerd before he left town – the one that said DO NOT OPEN UNTIL MAY 29th.
Inside was a card:
Words cannot express how thankful I am that you are here.
Happy 10th Anniversary.
A decade? I hadn’t even realized. I had somehow stopped counting.
He also left instructions:
- Look in nightstand. Wear on ears.
- Be home at 2pm. Open door. Enjoy.
As luck would have it, I finally got my youngest to sleep at about 1:30 and was desperate for a nap myself. Minutes after my head hit the pillow, someone was at my door. My sleepy grouchy face soon disappeared, though, as I found a cowboy at my door who began singing You Are So Beautiful To Me…
He was young and cute and nervous. I giggled like a school girl the whole time. I don’t know how, but my cheeks ended up wet.
- Smell flowers.
- Eat chocolate.
- Do not worry about dinner.
Later that evening my favorite sushi showed up at my door.
- Squeeze bear.
- Think of me.
- Close eyes…
You are safe now…
The sleep part actually didn’t happen because of an unhappy and in pain toddler.
I was expecting the day to go uncelebrated again, and I was perfectly okay with that. There were bigger things on my to-do list, and little people who needed me badly. I found a certain freedom in letting the day “just be” last year. It was not aggrandized in any way… and I was very alright with that.
Turns out this year marks a decade and it was celebrated… and grandly so…
and I am very alright with that too.
I am lucky…