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8-years ago ~ 1-year ago

July 30, 2013

8 years.
It’s been 8 years since my mom died.
I was ignoring the date. I didn’t want to remember July 29 this year.

I usually take the day off, no matter what and do something fun. I’ve managed to do that the past 7 years. This year, it would fall on a Monday. I just started a new job and my workload is challenging. So, I couldn’t take time off. I decided it was time to see July 29 as just another day. Carry on and all that.

Last night, Liz texted me, “You want to get a Diane drink tomorrow night?”

I stared at the text for a second. “A Diane-drink? What is she talking about?………… Oh shit.” I looked at the date. It was the 28th. Tomorrow was the anniversary of my mother’s death. Shit. I had successfully ignored the date. I started to cry.

“Yeah, maybe.” I wrote back.

We had breakfast that morning and she asked me if I wanted to do anything. I told her I didn’t. “I think it might be time for today to just be another day,” I said.

“Ok. I guess last year it was just such a big deal. There was so much going on.”

It took me a minute to remember what she was talking about. The party at Anne’s. The purple room. Sam. Holy Shit!

“Was that only a year ago?” I asked her.
Since then, that weekend has been occupying my mind more than the anniversary of my mother’s death. It seems like a lifetime ago.

I had just started working at the museum. I told my coworkers every detail of my personal life like a teenager. My divorce wasn’t final yet. It was the Splat Pack days when Sam, Liz and I had formed a bond. We had so much fun together. I was infatuated with Sam. He was so fun and full of energy. I loved the way he gave me so much attention every day. The facebook chatting, the texts, the phone calls. He had been laying down the flirting pretty heavily leading up to that weekend.

That Friday night had been amazing. I remember walking in the park that afternoon, excited about seeing him, about all of us going out together. He had texted me all day. “Put your steel-belted panties on ‘cause I’m headed into town.”
“How about pink ones with a bow?” was my reply. He danced with me all night, held my hand as we walked around the Blue Moon. Everyone could see there was something going on between us. Then I walked with him to the car to get something and we stopped for a second and he finally kissed me. We made out on the bench, in the back seat of the car and in the pool. We woke up in the purple room.

The next morning Liz had asked, “Well, what was it like?”
“Familiar,” I had replied.

It was my first post-divorce experience and it had been unremarkable. Nevertheless I fell for him. I fell hard. But I didn’t see him again while I was suffering the crush. I had been smart enough to do that, to stay away from him. He made it clear he didn’t feel the same but the gave me the same level of attention, which just confused the hell out of me.

And then he turned out to be a narcissistic asshole. He was mean to me. I stopped talking to him. Instead of apologizing, he had said, “I’m just angry. And the people around me can just take it or not.” I chose the not option. We stopped communicating except for polite hello’s and awkward attempts at conversation at festivals.

Now, he’s just part of the learning curve. A cast member in the saga of my second life. I think back to that weekend and remember that sense of giddiness and fun. We were doing what we needed to do. Reaching out, being free and open. But we’re not those silly girls anymore, flirting and flitting around, impressed by anyone who will give us attention.

Ha! Yeah, that’s right. I’m not that girl anymore. Shit. Who do I think I’m fooling? I was blushing just a few hours ago when Z was flirting with me on facebook. I’m counting the days until he is back. I can’t wait to be in his arms again. Not that girl anymore, huh? I know I’ve changed since that wonderful weekend but I still have some playing to do. I have some oats to sow, lessons to learn. Otherwise I wouldn’t be pursuing a “relationship” with someone with whom I have no future.

I met Liz for drinks that night. We laughed and toasted my mom. I thought about what it would be like to have her here now. What she would think of me, of Vivian and what’s become of all of us. I’ll never stop missing her. Now the anniversary of her death has become a time to reflect and look at my own progress.

One year later, Liz and I look back at who we were with amazement. I hope we do that every year. I hope I look back at this time and think, “Wow. Look at how different I am now. Look at how much I’ve learned and changed and grown.” But honestly, I kind of hope I’m still blushing in the middle of the day over some sweet, cute message sent to me by someone who loves me, who wants to be with me. Maybe next year, it will be with someone I can plan a life with.

For now, I’ll take where I am. Decent job. Good friends. Daily walks. A man in love with me. I feel stable. I feel like I’m the best version of myself….better than any other time in my life. I think mom would be proud.

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From → Rantings

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