Happy Anniversary to Me?

I’ll try not to get too maudlin, as frankly I’m getting tired of it and I suspect you are too. But I am sitting here tonight honestly unsure how to handle the event I’m facing.

November 8 (which is still tomorrow in my time zone) would have been Kurt’s and my 25th wedding anniversary. HOW do I acknowledge this milestone? I can’t celebrate OUR anniversary — as we are no longer a we — but 25 years is still a huge milestone in MY life (almost half of my life), and I’m still the person who married my best friend and true love 25 years ago. Time is still passing for me, and milestones seem to want to be recognized in some way.

I can’t think of any way not to be miserable tomorrow. I can’t celebrate (try and imagine taking yourself out to dinner and toasting yourself with a glass of champagne!), but I don’t want to simply sit and try to pretend it’s some other day. I literally don’t know what to do.

I may be wrong about this (I’ll find out over the next two months), but it seems to me right now that November 8 is going to be even harder than Thanksgiving or Christmas. Neither one of us (especially me, and especially over the past few years) has been big on holiday celebrations. It’s always a challenge for me to get through the “holiday season” sane, so this year may be not all that different… we’ll see. But OUR days — our anniversary, our birthdays — those are really tough. They will probably be tough for a few years to come.

I only have a few badly faded photos from that day. Here is one.

Look at us! We look so young and earnestly in love. We got married in our back yard. We had 14 cases of Anchor Steam Beer in a big iced-down tub; nine of them were consumed that day by ourselves and our guests. We played beer pong in our garage. For our honeymoon we drove to the California coastal towns of Carmel, San Francisco, and Cambria in a 1983 944 (our second Porsche), which we’d bought about a week before just so we could honeymoon in a Porsche. We ended up returning many times to Carmel, and at one point bought a lot in Cambria with the intention of building a house there someday (we sold the lot a few years later, probably to buy another Porsche).

So many memories. This is my life. It is not fun to contemplate a milestone anniversary alone.

Still, this IS my life and I will go on from here, after a pause and a long sigh.

Pause.

Long sigh…

OK.

Want to hear a funny story? Today Kurt received a letter from a computer at the REALLYBIGBANK where I closed Kurt’s account the other day. The computer wanted Kurt to know that REALLYBIGBANK had honored the cashier’s check I had been given by the courteous employees at the local branch — even though according to the computer, there were insufficient funds in Kurt’s account to cover that check. The computer assessed a fee of $0.00, but warned Kurt that he could be subject to additional penalties if he did not fix his current balance of negative $9,999,999.99.

I am not kidding.

Given that one of the courteous employees at the local branch had called me Saturday morning to confirm that the account was closed, and had not complained about that pesky $10 million, I intend to ignore this computer-generated letter. But what a great send-off from REALLYBIGBANK!

And what about my slow happy running career? I spent another weekend mostly sleeping, and didn’t get out to run at all. This evening I did 5.5 miles on my treadmill, which was really boring but beat running by myself in the dark. I now have a reflective vest and reflective running tights to go with my headlight, so I’ll grin and bear it and run with the beer runners on Thursday — but I refuse to run by myself in the dark.

I’m starting to feel like maybe it’s time to… fly south for the winter???

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Posted on November 7, 2011, in grief, LIfe_goes_on, Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Seems like a day to do whatever feels best, but best spent maybe with friends.

    I remember your wedding as a day of great hope, which was realized. Weren’t we all so young 25 years ago, when you and I were barely thirty-somethings?

    As for heading south, if it’s sooner than you’ve planned, a reminder that it’s only the second day after daylight savings time’s ended. And if it’s not that, you’re in company with the monarchs I saw a week ago on the central coast.

    • Yes, it was all a great, hopeful, youthful adventure. We did make the most of all the time we had.

      As for heading south, my planned timing hasn’t chenged (I’m not sure if you and I have discussed exact dates, but I’m not going to post them here). I’m just thinking about it more. I watch birds flocking and I think… I get it. The meteorologists are warning this will be another rough winter in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to a second La Nina year in a row.

      Yes, the time change has a lot to do with my “fly south” signals, but it’s also how rapidly the seasons change here, as we are rather far north. My doctor told me that seasonal depression is greatest when the light decreases the fastest day-to-day — namely, mid-October through mid-November. As we approach the winter solstice, the day-to-day shortening starts to slow down and finally stop. By February, a lot of people around here start to really come around, even though the weather can be less than ideal for another couple of months. We feel and respond to the increasing light.

  2. hmmmm, can’t say “happy anniversary” and am too at a loss for what to say, except, congratulations–Kim and Kris only made about 60 days, so spending the best part of 25 years with your Kurt is truly worth a congratulations and toasts. Yes, he did not quite make it to 25 actual years, but so what? You did…and you would have…you stuck through all of your stuff together, you supported each other through the last year+ and still, you made it. My mom still celebrates their wedding anniversaty (June 16, 1948) even though my dad died in 1990. I don’t think it is unusual…it is and always will be her wedding anniversary. Why not take yourself out to dinner and have a split of champagne, in honor of your almost 9,000 days and nights together!? And, congratulations! Hugs, Geri

    • Geri,

      What a lovely story about your mom. It makes me wish I had some champagne in the house, as I doubt I’d have the courage to go out alone, at least not this year. Thanks for letting me know I’m not totally weird and morbid and living in the past.

      Lori

  3. and did I say, I love the picture! G

  4. Congratulations are in order! Happy 25th anniversary! Celebrating your love, your years together, your determined, continued journey since Kurt’s death, your wonderful trip to celebrate Kurt’s life and your life together. Celebrating your ability to laugh at the absurd (REALLYBIGBANK letter), your focus on your health and running. Sending many best wishes your way on this day.

  5. Lori – I agree, this is a milestone to acknowledge, appreciate, miss Kurt, toast 25 years, celebrate your love. If I were there, I’d love to celebrate with you at dinner tonight.

    Love the picture. What wonderful memories you shared of that day as well. I laughed that you knew how many cases were consumed. Were you keeping spreadsheets then?

    Agree with Rebecca about your ability to laugh at the bank ridiculousness. Too funny.

    Thinking of you today. Sending big hugs…

    • Patty,

      Thanks for the big hugs!

      I don’t believe there was an actual wedding beer consumption spreadsheet, but we must have taken inventory when we got home because I do remember those numbers quite clearly.

      It was, indeed, a great day to have experienced, and to look back on now with wonderful memories of the way we were.

      Lori

  6. Congratulations on 25 years of love and adoration for finding your friend and partner for 25 years of life together. We will be here to celebrate the days and hours and moments that you did have together. This is a day to remember all the good times.
    Lift a glass to the 9000 good days. Thankful that YOU are here to carry on.
    I am sorry that you did not let us know cuz WE would be the first to be there with you at dinner, but I have a meeting I can not get out of. How about the junction for some good music later kinda like 9 pm?

  7. Lori, I am touched by the bittersweet remembrance of the day. A happy wedding picture does a lot to emphasize the poignancy of loss. I think just sharing and respecting the significance of what this day might have held and didn’t is one way to mark it! Your capacity to appreciate the ridiculous communication with THEREALLYBIGBANK says you’re hanging in their well. Let us know if you find a way to treat yourself today! Debra

  8. I loved reading about your wedding day and honeymoon. It looks like it was lots of fun, and suited the two of you perfectly.

    As for how to spend the day… I have no idea. Maybe do something that you two loved to do together, and you enjoy by yourself as well. Maybe it’s a nice, long run. Maybe it’s watching two movies back-to-back while eating some outrageous junk food. Find a way to have some YOU time while honouring the memory of YOU TWO.

    • Given that the thing we both enjoyed doing together the most — as long as he was able to — was going out for dinner, I guess that means I should take myself out for a nice meal. Maybe with a good long drive beforehand…

      Thanks,
      Lori

  9. I agree- honor the day. Just because someone isn’t here physically doesn’t mean they aren’t living in our hearts- and we shouldn’t turn it off just because. Had circumstances not intervened, you’d be doing what you had done all the other years. Maybe it is a day to be alone; to ruminate; to do whatever you feel inclined to do. I would probably order in and reflect. I might also do something entirely new, just for you, if you feel you are ready to give it a try.

    Don’t stop writing. You aren’t dragging us down. This is YOUR journey; YOUR process.

    Hoping today is peaceful for you…. ♥♥♥

  10. Thank you… today is going better than I dared to hope, thanks to all the wonderful supportive thoughts and validation from everyone who has commented here today. I’m still not sure what I’ll do this evening, but I no longer feel so alone.

    Lori

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