As the year marches forward, I track the days like this:
What was happening last year? In the beginning of October I remembered the day we had to put my father's dog to sleep. And the anniversary of the day he called me, crying. Last year, around this time, he had pneumonia.
And soon the harder days will come. The day before Thanksgiving when he sat in his chair by the fireplace and told me the results of the tests. That nothing had worked. That he had six months.
In reality on this day last year (we did not know it then) he had 42 days.
Forty-two days. Til I would get the phone call at work. Til I would feel that strange sense of relief. It is over. Thank God. It is over.
I recognize now that the relief was just temporary--a small feeling. One that could actually be processed. Unlike so many of the others that were (and still are) as big as planets. Taking up so much room inside me there is not space for anything else.