Friday, April 20th
In high school, I remember a teacher explaining to our class that she hadn’t worn a wrist watch since her mother died. My 17-year-old brain was really mystified by that. How did she know what time it was? How did she get anywhere on time? Didn’t she need to know what time it was while teaching? (Keep in mind) that I am old enough that cell phones were not widespread when I was a high schooler. I was puzzled by this statement and also by the implied to connection to her mother’s death.
But 8 years. Or 2,920 days. Or 4,204,800 minutes. These I can measure by the date on the calendar.
Zoom forward a chunk of years: April 20th, 2018. 8 years ago today and possibly about this time of day if memory serves me correctly that my brother got a call that he would receive his long-awaited double lung transplant. While that day itself was anxiously joyful, the day is now bittersweet. His transplant ultimately did not have the results we wanted.
I no longer wear a watch except maybe when running. I have a cell phone always in my pocket. But I get now what my teacher was saying to us. I live much more in the present now. I struggle often to get places on time but I care much less than I did before 2010.
So much in this life is out of our control. And the clock just keeps ticking forward. I no longer measure life by the arms of a watch as I pathologically did before. It is hard to believe that it was eight years ago and yet it also feels like a lifetime ago or at least a long chapter.
I sit here typing, thinking, and I want these thoughts and feelings to resolve or have a nice closing. But they don’t. Losing my brother is simply the hardest thing I’ve done and mostly survived in this lifetime so far. Grief is messy. Even remembering is messy. Another day, another memory, another year.