Tag Archives: anniversary

I am the One who chooses

Today you’ve been gone 27 years

I can’t pull up your silent body as my immediate memory of you

It’s not gone but far away, where it belongs

That’s a long time to reach for your joyful face

Thank you for all that you’ve taught me, for waiting with me these 27 years


I choose to hear your laughter ringing in my heart, to see a grin that held secrets


I choose to go outside and breathe in deeply, the memory of your smell

Maybe hug my dad a little longer because he smells like you


I choose to stop searching for the memories of you unresponsive in my arms

Instead I will replay the sight of you hooking your toes on the front of your swing

and squealing out in delight


Today I choose to replay all of the living moments of your life that I can reach

I choose to loop them through my soul until joyful tears fall freely


Today, every day, I choose to celebrate that we shared life

That I still get to share life with your dad and brothers

with many that I love


I choose to embrace that I am – that I always have been – the best mom that I know how to be


I choose peace

Broken Rules

it happens every year to varying degrees

sneaking up in plain view, subtly marked on my calendar

written only in pencil as if i could erase it at will

the anniversary of learning that not all rules apply

parents don’t always die first


i have to remind myself that i am not unique

grandma, burdened with a disease that stole memories

but not her grief, cried out each day for her lost son

someone took my baby, where is my baby, give him back to me

my aunt sharing memories of her baby boy being brought home

in a very small box in the back of the car, long miles of silence

the afflictions are irrelevant, the stillness of our sons is not

we believed the rules would apply, the rules should always apply

all we really control is our response, all else is smoke and mirrors


he carried your casket alone, standing tall, he did not stumble

i walked behind, barely standing at all beneath the weight of my grief

we somehow set the pace for lonely, singular walks through dark valleys

delivered to babyland, like they thought it might lighten the mood

it was not, nor is it now, a rollercoaster found at amusement parks

my sadness no longer resides there, unfulfilled dreams have all grown up

that guttural sound emanating from the hole left behind is still here, now muffled

the years have covered it with surprising laughter, wrapped it with fresh hope 

love from all sides, memories of you, soften the edges and bring you to me in flashes

the smiling baby whom I loved, others barely had chance to become smitten with

life can be so unexpected that to us, mere mortals, it appears cruel and unfated

especially on a saturday morning when we are trying to pretend that all the rules apply

our hearts grasping and reaching out for what might have been and coming up empty

All In The Details

Do important moments in a person’s life really need to be marked with fanfare?  I understand the need to celebrate but does the amount of details somehow equate to the level of importance?  This upcoming weekend my parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  It is their golden anniversary and it has been very trying to watch everyone scramble to meet expectations while maintaining a budget.  My lack of employment has made me unable to contribute financially but I am attempting to contribute in any other way that I can.  It brings up some very specific memories for me. 

My husband and I were married on my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary.  Sharing the date was not in our original plan.  It was the compromise we made to gain back control over the planning.  I wanted a simple wedding so I could get to the marriage part but my mother was certain that what I secretly wanted was a fairytale wedding.  If you’ve read my Fables Or Fairy Tales entry you can guess how I feel about elaborate weddings.  So our intimate ceremony and party was on a Wednesday evening and the country club reception was on the following Saturday.  It was nice to wear the dress twice but I think the newlyweds would have enjoyed stretching the honeymoon over the weekend before returning to work on Monday.   

Large formal affairs seem to heighten stress for all concerned.  Perhaps it is a good test of longevity.  If a couple can make it through wedding planning they have shown they can manage stress.  Funny thing that I have noticed though, big weddings do not always equal successful marriages.  Most of our friends that are still married after around a quarter of a century had small affordable weddings.  Their friends attended, it was comfortable, familiar, and fun.  The celebration was about the people involved, everything else was incidental. 

Perhaps I have become too practical since becoming unemployed.  I see the extra amount of money spent on monogrammed napkins and would really like to know the value.  Will one person notice?  Ten?  Will these special napkins somehow inspire longevity in other marriages?  What about the cake plates and the overall menu?  I think they might have caused a small squabble in the 50 year marriage.  Or is it all the small details combined that make the party memorable and inspiring? 

I find 50 years to be inspiring unto itself.  50 years, that is half a century.  What I really want to know is how did they do it?  How did they make it through all the stuff that falls in between the good times?  50 years has to be about more than looking forward to another party.  I’m hoping that this Saturday my folks will take a moment to share some of their secrets to a long marriage.  I’m guessing it is about more than my dad quickly agreeing to mom’s cake choices.