Surprisingly well, all things considered. I’ve flipped out a couple of times, but nothing so far out I can’t get back, and I’ve spaced out a few times, but again, not so far out there I can’t get back.
On the 23rd, I was very… “ok, hold space for yourself for anything, tomorrow. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of you finding Tim paralyzed on the bathroom floor, so you might feel anything. Take time for yourself. Whatever you feel, is valid, and fine, and OK to feel. Let yourself. Let yourself sit with whatever comes up, and just take time and know it’s all going to be OK.”
But also, on the 23rd, Jeff was coming up, and we wanted to try to get his truck returned before the place closed at 8PM (even though it wasn’t due until 10 AM), so we wouldn’t have to drive the next morning when it was supposed to be freezing, in case the roads were icy in the morning – but we couldn’t get to everything, and the truck wound up having to wait until morning. Fortunately the roads weren’t icy, so we took the truck back in the morning, ran about fifty last-minute errands, and it wasn’t until about halfway into the errands I was like… “oh, shit, I just for the first time today thought about what I was doing a year ago today.”
But do you know what? I mean, I did kind of space out for a few, but overall… the feeling was more one of quiet reflection about everything that I have. Either things that have come into my life over the last year (like Peppa), or things that have returned to me (the ability – or heck, even just the desire – to knit more than two rows a week), the things that are new to me (changes in the house), things that I get to see (my friends, their triumphs, their losses, their children growing up). I thought more, on the 24th, about things I have rather than things I’ve lost.
I say sometimes that I don’t know what Tim would want. I really don’t. I mean, I’m going to hope and assume he would want me to be happy – certainly his family does, but … things were so complicated with him, especially the last few years. Maybe he might want me to be sad and feel lost for a while. And yea, those early days? Some days it wasn’t tough to get out of bed, but it was tough to stay out of bed all day. To not go back to bed and stay there, once I’d gotten up and done things I needed to do. But would he want me to fall into a well of sadness and stay there? I don’t know, but I hope not. Would he want me to be angry and unhappy and lonely? I don’t know, but I hope not. Would he want me to immediately carry on and forget about him, leave his memory behind? I don’t know, but I hope not. I feel like at my best, there is a happy medium of all that. Being sad some days, but joyful on others. Moving forward but honoring our past together. Keeping my relationship with his family, and friends we had together, alive.
I’ve never been a long-term wallower. Not that I don’t have the inclination, I just don’t have the… I don’t know, the stamina? For wallowing? It takes so much energy. If I’m going to use energy, I’d like to have something to show for it when I’m tired, rather than just being tired. I mean, I love a good self-pity. For a day, maybe two. But for me, the cure for sitting around and being sad isn’t more sitting around and being more sad. It’s getting up and punching sadness it the face, and saying “not today, Satan. You Will Not Win.” Sort of like that old phrase, living well is the best revenge. My StepMonster tried to ruin almost every relationship I had with people in my family. I got back at her by… not letting her destroy any. By reframing those relationships into something that she was no longer a part of. The Universe tried to hand me a really, really shitty situation last year, and I’m getting back at it by taking what I want from those things that happened and using it to forge a good future.
I was telling a friend the other day, that while his body may have held on until March 11th, in my heart, December 24th was the day he left me, left our life together. To me that feels like more of a one year mark.
I’m not saying that every step forward from now on is going to be joyous, but every step forward will be… forward. Because that’s the way I have to be. Just like I can’t not make art.. I can’t not move ahead. I might stumble and I might bump my head and my heart might really hurt some days, but … every day is another chance to fucking live, as the line in Deadwood goes. Every day is another chance to fucking live.
Every day is a gift.