Do you ever feel like time is spiraling out of your control? As if you could get motion sick from the rhythm of life?
I could make a few jokes about how a quick fix for that would be to spend the day with Scarlet’s endless demands and questions. On a hot and humid rainy day. Days with whiny kids stretch on like little eternities. Rich and full and sunny days with kids stretch on too.
In the most beautiful of ways.
Every July, I’m especially jolted by the passage of time measured in years. It starts with a bang, so flawlessly on July 1st. To me July is some strange and magical creature and I’m always completely surprised that it’s here, every year. Would you believe that I still feel that at Christmas time too? It’s like when you leave Newark Airport and several hours later, you find yourself in a foreign country. “How did I get here?” “Am I really here?” “What if I’m not and it’s all an illusion?” “No, I’m really, really here and this is real and this is living and this is life and I am so here that I’m going to kiss the ground. Right now.” That feeling happens to me every July.
Is it really here?
On July 1st, we celebrate a big anniversary. That is the day I met my husband nine years ago. At around 10:00 pm at night. We met at JFK Airport and I was all alone in my jean jacket and with my camera. My heart was pumping into my throat and suddenly a gigantic crowd of people fresh off a plane swarmed towards me. There he was. “Hi, Jean Jacket.” His first words to me.
We can’t remember if these photos were taken the night we met, or the night we said goodbye for the first time. JFK Airport, 2004:
If you’d like to read more, I wrote out the whole love story while I was pregnant with Des last year. It’s “only” 20 parts:
July 2nd has always been a big day. It’s the day I lost my father 29 years ago. I have written about it before here and here and I will write about it many times over. I never stop learning about its impact on my life – past, present and future. And I probably never will. Grief is ever-evolving and mutating and transforming and all that jazz. I miss never getting to know him more. I would have liked to.
Last year on July 2nd, 28 years to the day I lost my father, my grandfather passed away. He was 100. I had a newborn baby only a week or so out of the NICU and everyone was sick except for him, miraculously. I had a wicked sinus infection plus an allergy to the antibiotics as well as a clogged duct from nursing. It’s not that I’m still recovering from his loss – it’s that I’m still discovering it.
And I will continue to do so.
Four years ago, on July 9th 2009, I had my Scarlet. One day old:
Just before four-years-old:
On July 25th, it’s my birthday.
Sometimes I remember the thoughts I felt and the dreams I dreamed on these days throughout the years. Then I make new thoughts and I dream new dreams and they just add to my July mix of madness. I don’t always know if I’m celebrating or if I’m mourning. I imagine I do both often – mourn the lost and celebrate the gained. And then vice versa, I celebrate the lives of the lost and what they gave to my world. And I mourn another year gone of the little girl I gained. Isn’t it madness? Wonderful sadness.
“Then as it was, then again it will be
And though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea” — Led Zeppelin in “Ten Years Gone”