The older I get, the more I treat each New Year like any other day. What's so special about January 1st? I used to do resolutions, I haven't done them in forever because they never stick. Instead I just say I'm going to keep on trying to do better, no matter what day it is.
I've written very little publicly about the death of my grams back in June 2015 because it's still too hard to talk about. I've written a few things on facebook about how awesome she was but I still can't go into detail about what her presence in my life meant to me or how much my heart still hurts eighteen months after she died. I wrote her obituary thinking that would be my way of getting some closure but it didn't help. All this time later, I find that one of the reasons I can't talk about it is because I can't find the words to truly convey everything she meant to me. And then if I do find the words, I am not even sure how I'll put it all together. I talk to my therapist about it...but grams was the kind of person who deserves to be written about, remembered for the special person she was. Everyone who knew her liked her, she was legend. I can't imagine writing about everything I write about but not writing about her. It's almost as if I am intentionally avoiding it. I am. I know it. I just don't know how to fix that.
You can't ever go home again.
Thomas Wolfe wrote about that for reasons different from mine but the title is right-on.
I sat outside my mother's house the other day. It was evening, nobody was home, it was cold outside and I was staring up at the sky. And I wondered, "how many times over the years have I stared up at that same sky? Those same stars? And what was I thinking each time?" Because I am quite sure my mindset each time was completely different. I tried to remember what I thought about looking up at that sky, when I was 16. While I don't remember exactly, I do have a pretty good idea. I was a teenager and that age everything's hard. At that age I couldn't wait to grow up. Now I'm grown up and it's not as great as I thought it would be.
When I was at my mother's house I took a walk back to grams house. Now that she's gone and we've emptied her house, it's seems so old and abandoned now. It's lifeless. They say when a person dies their house dies too. It's true. Her house is dying. But damn it still seems sometimes like she's there. Why do I do that to myself?
When I was at my grams house, I stepped in, looked to my right and left, surveying the place as I've done less than a dozen times since she died, and the small of must and mold and chicken soup was too much, I closed the door and then sat down on the front steps. I closed my eyes and remembered nights when we'd have dinner on the porch on nice evenings. She always had a card table out there with a vinyl tablecloth on it. I'd set it for two, we'd start off with salad and then our main course. We'd eat, drink our tea, talk and enjoy ourselves long until after dark. Grams and I had great times there.
Friends are the family you choose. You don't have to like someone just because you share the same DNA. If more people surrounded themselves with people they actually want to be around rather than people they feel they have to be around...
It's now January 1, 2017 and I managed not to watch a single one of those bullshit New Year's Eve shows. The days of watching the ball drop (remember when it used to be a big apple?) are over. NO fireworks, no phone calls, no hugs and party favors. What's to celebrate? We act as if January 1st is a fresh start but I think that's a bad idea because starting over is a terribly long process. Frankly, I hate starting over. Instead I like to think of it as a continuation of the progress we've made in the year prior.
Oh yeah, therapy works. Try it sometime.