Forgetting. It seems to be a recurring theme on this day. Last year on the anniversary of my father's death, nearly the whole day passed before I realized the significance of the date. I wrote a post to reconnect myself, and rolled back the actual publish time to 9:01AM, although I'm pretty sure it was closer to 4PM by the time I even started writing that post.
It's about 9:15PM as I write this post. Odd to say that my father's death seems like something that happened to someone else at this point. Which is true. It happened to him. I just get to live without him. I'm fine with that. And that feels odd, too.
I like the first four years after my father's death much better than the first four after my mother's. I was so angry about my mother's death and I didn't understand so much. The past four years I understand so much more, not necessarily about life (although that's true, too), but about both of my parents.
I understand that I get a choice to be like both of them, either of them, neither of them. I get to choose to love myself more than some guy who will never me because I don't love myself. Thanks mom, for teaching me that one. I get to choose to take care of myself before everyone else (which also goes back to that whole loving myself thing). Thanks dad, for teaching me that one.
I also understand that they were both human. That it does me no good to judge them on the job they did raising me when I turned out just fine. I get that my parents were victims of themselves, and then of others—not the other way around. I get that they did the best they could with what they knew. And I get that I love them, even in their early departures.
On days like today when I've forgotten to remember the significance of the date, it doesn't bother me. Not because the date is insignificant, but because I don't need a significant date to remember either of my parents.
I remember my mom when I laugh. My dad when I build. I remember them when I cook or clean or run or play or read. I remember them when I live my life. Not when a certain day passes me by to remind me that they're not here anymore.
So take that, January 4th, 2006 6:07PM and June 27th, 1991 early AM hours.
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