Now, I am not talking about happy birthdays [and] wedding anniversaries. I am talking about the ‘darkerversaries’ such as the date of a cancer diagnosis, the death of a loved one, or a relapse, and I find myself asking whether remembering anniversaries of the ‘darkerversaries’ serves me or hurts me.
Do they lift me up, encourage me, call me to growth?
Do they drag me down, discourage me leaving me in bed with the covers pulled over my head?
You see, I have this thing with dates; I can’t forget them, any of them: the good, the bad, or the ugly.
It can be a blessing or a curse on any given day.
In my bullet journal this month, I wrote the following:
“Walk through each day of December as if it holds no significance; December is a string of ordinary days with the exception of the extraordinary day of Christmas in my life.”
December 22, 1978, marks the diagnosis of my Ewing’s Sarcoma, childhood cancer
December 26, 1978, marks the date of my first dose of chemotherapy
December 17, 2007, marks the date of an open heart procedure to repair my aortic [and] mitral heart valves which happened to be the beginning of the end of my God-knit heart which died 4 short months later.
December also holds some REALLY sweet memories for me:
12/4: my third-grade teacher’s birthday; she tutored me while I was undergoing treatment. She gave me my first Bible; I LOVED Mrs. O’Neale!
12/16/02: I first felt our son flutter within me for the very first time; I was over the moon
12/18/41: my dad’s birthday; I’m a daddy’s girl. Love him!
12/25/03: Our son’s first Christmas. If only you could behold the fanfare, your jaw would drop as he is our ONLY child AND grandson on my husband’s side, the light of my mother-in-law’s world.
12/25/08: Our first Christmas following my transplant; the 3 of us, giving thanks for my heart, my very life.
Now, the good memories didn’t end in 2008, I’m just choosing not to bore you with any more details: HA!
So, why was it important enough for me to have this month be ordinary so much so that I noted it in my journal?!
Two Primary Reasons:
- It sets a tone of reflection for the entire month which can cause me to get stuck in my head thereby running the risk of missing the power of now, the moments; it’s the ‘overanalysis leads to paralysis’ phenomenon
- The pull of the sadness and/or anxiety can be and often are stronger than the pull of the present, the power of now
So, this year I begin a new habit: welcome each day as a new day without baggage from the past or fear of the future; I will center myself in the present, the moment, the now.
I do believe that joy and sorrow can co-exist without one infringing upon the other; however, that depth of healing takes TIME and great INTENTION.
PS More to come on begin and an update on my longing for the ordinary in June: promise!