I hate today. That post pretty much summed up why. But I also hate it for another reason . . . the way other people make me feel. I'll never know what my parents went through in 1973. Hell, it still shocks and amazes me that they stayed together after Clark's death. But I dread when the day creeps up and the ringing of the phone with their number on caller-ID. I know what's coming and I hate it.
If I bring it up, I make my mom cry. She says something about what a cute baby he was, I say something about surrounding him with toys, but really we both know what isn't said: he's not here and we both wish he was. If I don't bring it up, as I chose to this morning, she rarely says anything. That ends well until the phone rings and it's my dad. His conversation begins equally light (this morning's was about all the snow days that we've had) but then he asks if I remember what today is . . . and all at once the pain and the tears that I have been trying so hard to ram in the back of my brain, throat, gut, wherever it is that I have hidden them, come exploding to the surface. Of course I remember what today is. I obsess over how I can manage the pain this year beginning around Christmas, especially if we have been home since Mom will have been thinking about it too. But nothing helps. Every year, I think I am one step closer to not crying, not feeling guilty for having a happy life, not exploding in anger, not sobbing at the sappy commercials, not dealing with it like a lunatic.
Yet here I sit, crying again, leaving slightly panic stricken voicemail messages for Lola, accepting the Flyer's hugs, and reverting to my three-year-old self. At least I don't have to work (I never go into work on the 28th . . . close friends know why, some understand, some think it is irrational) but there is a driveway to be shoveled, grades to update, knitting to complete . . . just with one less sibling to share it. And you know . . . I'll deal with it the same way I always have, shoving the tears a little further back, cramming the pain a little deeper, until next year when they explode to the surface and we're back to square one.
PS - Thank you for all the comments about the sweater debacle. I'll post photos of it later today and the complete explanation . . . I just have to bribe a daughter to model it for me.