Tuesday, April 15, 2014

another april eighteenth, almost

Last year was a lovely eighteenth of April: a simple, delicious dinner of some of my father's favorite things shared with three of my favorite people. My mother, my Jill, my boy. This year will be a quieter eighteenth of April, more solitary perhaps yet still emotionally rich.

I will get up at quarter to six, throw on my running clothes, do some stretches, and go for my thrice-weekly walk/jog/stumble. I will come back and prepare for the day. I will get my usual seat on the bus and spend a lovely half-hour reading. (I am undeniably a creature of habit, and this is okay.) I will spend the day with colleagues I love, in a place that I have loved since I was a little girl.

I will, perhaps, finally get around to replying to a beautifully intimate and family-history-filled letter I received last week from my uncle. I will be amazed at how despite knowing this uncle for thirty-seven years, there are whole worlds still to learn, entire histories about which I know nothing at all.

I will go home after work and meditate, my closed eyes facing the sunshine that will likely be streaming in through my living room windows. I will breathe, and try to remain calm in the face of the Llama-monster's likely yowling in my face. I will not get the giggles (though it will be alright if I do), and eventually the bell will chime and I will re-enter the waking world and scratch behind the Llama-monster's ears and we will sprawl contentedly on the sun-dappled wood floor of my apartment (though it will be alright if it's instead gray and dreary).

I will cherish my father's memory by learning to cherish even more the lives he helped to shape, and by continuing to tell the story of him as I know it.

"And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story."
-Tim O'Brien, from The Things They Carried

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