Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Mother pointed out to me with some sadness yesterday that today would have marked her anniversary. Graham Bleiler and Ruth Davidson were united in wedlock on May 7, 1942 in a rushed midnight ceremony in the basement of a nightclub in Miami right before he was due to be shipped out during World War II. This was not the wedding they had planned before he got his orders, but I like this story; it is romantic in its way. I have a photo of the wedding party on my bedroom wall. Different people than the ones I came to know a couple of decades later. The impact of war had already touched them, but not nearly to the extent that it would. However, I digress.

What I was more interested in was the reminder. She will need me to make a fuss today. Had she not reminded me, candidly, I would have forgotten it. The same routine would have happened on the anniversary of Dad's death (January 31, 1992), but she was confused about the month during that time, so I got a pass. It will happen on his birthday (September 25, 1914). For her, despite the fact that she doesn't always have kind things to say in Dad's memory, those dates are key in her calendar as days she marks and grieves. For my part, I don't really get that and will tend to forget the significance of them in her mind, which has caused some friction in the past. My dad, for better or worse, is with me always. Not just on those days. I don't keep the memory of him on some mental shelf to take out, dust off, examine and then put back three times a year. Not that Mother does that either, but the fact that she will likely mope around all day just because it is May 7 is just beyond me. I was good about it at first. Dad died months before their 50th wedding anniversary, and I knew that would be a horrible time for her. Still living in Montana at the time, she drove herself down to Texas and stayed for almost a month. Long enough for her to get up the will power to face the empty house again. That year on his birthday I was good and remembered to call and let her do her thing. But, after that I have been spotty. I know that this is her way, and no matter what, I should just go along, but life moves fast for me, and, no excuses, I just forget.

But, I am curious. Is this a generational thing? Or is it really a difference in how two women deal with loss and respect for those they have lost? I would invite readers to comment on loss and grieving and how they have personally coped.

1 comment:

  1. I lost my dad on August 23, 1977. As long as mom was alive the date was very much an anniversary. Mom died on May 21, 1982. These two dates and the dates of their birthday do enter my mind on those days of the year. I do not mention them to anyone but they are remembered. They cross my mind as I do my daily activities. However, when my husband died it became a whole different remembrance. He and I were one person and I lost my right arm. He loved me for 36 years and I depended on him for 36 years. We had bad times and good times and GREAT times and times I would never want to live over. He was 62 when he died which to me was not time for him to die but I had no control. That was 18 years ago May 5, 2009. It seems like a long time but it also seems to have been just yesterday. I have wrestled with the loss of that arm but hope my wrestle did not interfer with anyone else. I grieved for myself because I was alone. I knew his death was not something I could change but I had to change me. He did not die because he wanted to. God gave me the most wonderful gift. He allowed me the blessing of faith and wrapped me in a blanket that protected me from my grief. This protection let me face my grief with the knowledge that we are just a vapor on this earth and we were not intended to be here long and the process of living for those who are left behind goes on. Lonely is not my first choice but finding things that fulfil me is a quest. God has provided many of those for me and I have overcome my lonesome soul. However, time does not take away memories and the dates of wedding, birthday, and death day are etched in your mind until you are no longer able to remember or until you are dead. I don't mention them to anyone. They are just my private memory. I let others mention them to me. Believe it or not many people do and this is gratifying.