No more anniversaries.
With the exception of my recent birthday, there's been none worth celebrating.
August 29 laid me low. I was surprised how hard the day hit. Made harder by my lack of fellow mourners (just another day here in northern Mississippi, just as it was in much of the country; the absurd reverse of Mardi Gras - while most of the world works, New Orleanians - and other countrymen - don festive garb and dance in the streets). To commemorate the day, I curled up in a ball and cried (much like the picture below). Then I went to work. I shrugged off what was shruggable, though I know I wore my grief (oh, what was lost! suddenly and by measures).
9-11 came around. Another day of grief. Remembering where I was when I heard the news (home; the radio), remembering how I spent the day (watching loop after loop of news, repairing to a spot on the Delaware River, dinner and cards with friends, returning home hand-in-hand...).
September 14: I've been officially divorced for a year. According to my Dad (via Dr. Phil), I can now confidently and comfortably enter the dating game. I have scoffed at this advice over the past year, but I'm starting to think that these old men might be on to something. After a great loss, our impulse is to fill it. Something, anything, to staunch the bleeding, to fill the gap. We grasp at straw-men, and fashion "almosts" into "always." We look for fits, and adjust ourselves accordingly. We hope for a salve and open our wounds. "Heal me." "Help me." And I'll help you; I'll give you what I didn't give then; I can make amends.
This is a false promise. There are no easy fixes. We must learn to live with loss. It's a well without fill. We can only learn. And then go on.
More recently, September 16, my first dead friend has been dead one year. Sunday marked the anniversary of Mark Krasnoff's final exit. Friends and loved-ones hosted a remembrance this past weekend, down in Pensacola. I did not attend but thought of him off and on all day. Mostly because it was a beautiful day and I wished he were still with us to share it.
Tomorrow is another day: September 21. The ninth anniversary of the day my now ex-husband and I met (and, coincidentally, his mother's birthday). Some days thunk. You write the date and it hits. I remember... I remember...
This blog is one big remember, and I cannot open the vein anymore. Each post is as much about "after Katrina" as what preceded. I need to move on, as hard as it's to do - so near and yet so far from New Orleans. She haunts and taunts me. I miss her terribly. But time has come to sink in, plant roots, and dig in. I've moved on, come what may. I am here, in provincial Oxford. Amidst the weekend tailgaters and the weekday drunks. A standout among the blonde-haired sorority girls and the big lawyer wannabees. I have a place here, though I haven't found it yet. With some earnest foraging, I'll make my way. I trust.
New Orleans opened up and let me in. And broke my heart by pushing me out. And with this post, I say my goodbye. I'll continue to peek into that world - so precious, so fragile - but it's time to close that chapter. It's time to move on.
Thank you for reading.
a luta continua...