Recently, in a conversation with a good friend who, in an unbelievable twist of fate is also struggling through the aftermath of a spouse’s death, we talked about special days and ordinary days. The gist of it was that every single day was special for one reason or another. Sure there are “big” days like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays; all of which are difficult. There are also ordinary days that have meaning through the context of a once shared lifetime together.
Two years ago this weekend was the first weekend Michele and I spent in Kansas City as new residents. Moving here was a last resort and a bitter pill to swallow. We were lonely for home, feeling cutoff from everyone and everything we had known, and scared of the future. We were also excited about new places to explore, new restaurants to try, and new career opportunities for both of us.
Nine years ago this month we were planning our wedding. The excitement of such a momentous affirmation of who were were and who we wanted to be was almost overwhelming. Nothing had ever felt so right, so good to me before. Now it seems as if that happened to another person. In just twenty-six days I will face what would have been our ninth wedding anniversary alone.
Six years ago we were in the midst of moving to South Carolina, stopping along the way to visit family. Michele learned of her Aunt Doris’ death and we drove all night from Illinois to North Carolina in order to attend her funeral. It was my introduction to her extended family. In spite of the somber reason for the gathering, it was special for me to meet the people who had always known Michele. Coming from a small family, being dropped into the midst of a large extended one was exhilarating.
Today is a Friday and for most of the time we lived in Illinois we met every Friday for lunch out. I still miss those lunches and I think about them every week.
Sure, the big days are hard, but in some ways the small, ordinary days are harder.