Friday, August 31, 2007
Bunched together at the end of August are three anniversaries for me. The first happy, the second so-so, the third unhappy.
On August 29, 1980, I crossed the Fla./Ga. border for the last time. I have never been back. Never wanted to go back. Have a few friends there, but aside from being curious as to all the changes since I left, have never felt the urge to return. I was so overjoyed that I was FINALLY out of that wretched state (wretched for me) that I whooped, hollered & sang as I crossed the border. I celebrate it every year. I arrived back in Illinois…
August 30, 1980. As it happens, that is the anniversary of my father’s birth (which I still observe although he’s been gone since 1990). I celebrated his birthday with him but celebrated my return to Yankeeland even more. Went to bed & awoke…
August 31, 1980. My father woke me saying my sister Nancy was on the phone. Since I had seen her the weekend before (I made sure to see everyone important before I left Fla.), I assumed she was calling to make sure I had made it ok. Uh, no. Her husband had committed suicide by hanging himself in the garage & she had just found him. She had gone out there to look for some newborn kittens & found her dead husband instead. As can be guessed, she was hysterical, confused, overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do for her. I offered to fly back down there, but she told me to stay.
I used to call her every year on John’s birthday & anniversary of his death, until she asked me to stop. I did it to let her know he was still remembered, but she told me she would sometimes forget (on purpose) & my calling made her feel guilty. I still make it a point to remember him, though.
Between these 3 days & the fact of my mother dying August 17, 2000, August is a strange month for me. I suppose I could try to forget all these dates, but if we aren’t remembered after we’re gone, what’s the point of us being here in the first place?