Aaaand, here it is again. This anniversary that I'm not quite sure what to do with. I wanted to go out and do something special, like go to the monastery in Conyers and look at bonzai trees and have a picnic to celebrate Andrew...because I think this day should be all about reflecting on the beauties and joy of being alive. I'm always skeptical when people do things and say, "This is what the departed person would have wanted..." But I'm pretty sure that it IS what Andrew would have wanted people to do to remember him- have a day of being fully alive. Of good times. Of appreciating autumn.
But this whole Grampa being in the hospital thing has made the day a little uncertain. Which maybe is a good thing. I don't know that I really want to concentrate my full powers of memory on this day. It's enough to have a low level of gut gnawing sadness.
Five years is a strange amount of time. It sounds like such a solid, rounded block. It seems like a long time - there have been a lot of changes since 2004- but it's not a long time.
Part of me really misses being in New Hampshire on this day. It feels wrong not to be there. We've talked about moving back someday. Georgia doesn't really feel like home in a lot of ways. But whenever we do go back to NH to visit, there's this odd feeling of being off kilter. When we were there for Grandma Sweet's funeral this summer, we took an hour to drive our dear old back roads and visit our favorite cemetery in Harrisville...and it was a beautiful day...the light streaming through the trees, but the light was sad. And it didn't have anything to do with Grandma's funeral that day. Honestly, I know it sounds strange, but I thought the light looked old and sad... and my gut told me that I'd never feel like this was home again either. I realize I am not missing a place but a time in my life when the world was all right, when I felt at home in a number of places. Because being at home means being with your family. And we haven't been all together in a long time. And it will be quite a while, I imagine, before we are all together again. But I believe that someday we will be together again. I'm not just saying that because it sounds nice; I really, truly believe it. Sadness, loss, absence...there is just something in me that cannot believe that these will go on and on, unresolved forever. My heart does not accept that possibility as ringing true. I believe to my very core that there is a God and that He is good, that human suffering matters to Him, and that He is, in His very essence, love. And that He will ultimately right all wrongs, heal all wounds, wipe away all tears. So while right now I am living in the present, acknowledging today's sadness, being grateful for the fact that it doesn't feel as bad as it once did, there is a part of me that will never get used to it and cannot accept it, that longs for home, and that part looks forward to the future and reminds me that this life is not all there is. I can't say I really look forward to October 3rd, but I am grateful for the perspective it always gives me.
So to all the people who remember us and send their love today, it is enough for me that you just remember Andrew and celebrate the profoundly wonderful fact that you have a great and precious opportunity- the chance to live- and beyond that, the chance to live eternally. Make it a good life.