This is one of those posts that is a few days late. I’ll say because of the demands of being a single parent during the holiday season. The cynic in me will say it’s a series of thoughts I’m trying to avoid. Reality is it’s probably somewhere between.
So we’ve marked a year since Risa passed. With the unveiling next week, I intentionally did not call a lot of attention to the day with the girls, but the subject did come up during the weekend-and we talked about it a little.
What struck me though was the familiarity that the weekend took on. While the memories of that five days last year is vivid to me like it all occurred yesterday-I could not help the moments of deja vu over the weekend. From the hustle of the holidays to spending time at the temple’s Hanukkah party to the discussion with the Rabbi about how I wanted to handle the next solemn moment to the flurry of emails and texts from family about “stuff” that was coming up it really felt like I had already done all of this.
But this time, if I were looking for differences it wasn’t that tough.
While marking a year of mourning and transition, I can also take a moment to look back and see real success. Tangible moments that make me think we’re on the other side of this part of our lives. Yes, we have memories and even moments of pain and self-doubt. But by and large, 52 weeks later the girls and I can truly say we’re doing alright.
One of the worries I have is someone on the outside looking in and seeing us a year later not in a traditional sense of mourning-but rather in a state of recharging our lives. It’s something each of us in the house do in our own way. 9.0 looking for new things (violin like her mother, art projects) to be interested in. 11.0 becoming an increasingly independent young lady (with a pretty cute childish streak) or me trying to figure out what’s next…and then the voice, “It’s only been a year.”
Well, for us, it’s been years.
So yes, we mark the calendar solemnly. Sunday we will go to the grave side and unveil the headstone (even that has not been a simple as it should have been). No one here has forgotten-and like Risa did 13 years ago when she was told she had a brain tumor-none of us has let this moment define us either.
And that may be the lasting tribute each of us can give to our wife, mother and friend.