anniversaries. It’s been just over a year since the Hartford Distributor shootings. My friend M.’s husband was one of the people murdered.
At the end of every year I go through the old diary/datebook so I can transfer certain things into the new that do not come pre-printed. If it is a dairy bought in the UK that means putting in all the USA holidays. Nowadays I need to get the Chinese New Year dates online to fill into the new book. I put in all sorts of things: good, bad and sometimes horrible. Like D’s senseless death.
The first anniversary of a sad event is tricky. You want the person to know that you are thinking of her but then again, a lot of people are probably thinking of her and will write her on the day, or call, or visit. Will there be so many messages that the number is too overwhelming? Will there not be enough? Whatever enough is?
Over a decade ago when we lost my paternal grandfather condolences came for months. I travelled across the pond solo for the funeral, came back home and then we returned on a scheduled visit and the cards were still coming in. It was easier to read things once the weeks had passed. I’m guessing that this was true for M. last year. That she knows I personally remembered is not important to me of course so I am taking my time composing a letter. I want to let her know that her situation made me make some changes in my own life and made Himself and I tackle a few long-standing issues like making a will and arranging for a lair . Phrasing each sentence has been a nightmare: look at all the good that has come out of your husband being murdered by someone he and his other union people were trying to help (that is to say, enable him to leave the company without completely ruining his chances of getting another job elsewhere). I started the letter several weeks ago and it is no better than the first day.
I wish I had kept a copy of the letter I sent my Mom’s first cousin just after Himself and I got married. It might have helped me with this one I need to write now. His daughter, about five years younger than me, was in her freshman year at my alma mater and died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition. Just sat down on her bed after entering her room, fell back on it and died. She was not discovered for a day, which did not reflect well on the school. I remember at the wake being in a terribly awkward position. I figured the best thing I could do was just take it when people slammed the place for not finding her sooner.
Himself, being over four years younger than me, was facing years more of school and training before we would be able to get married. ‘Six months after I graduate and have a job’ was the first actual date put to it once he asked me to wait for him (never really asked me to marry him – just to ‘wait’ for him). I’d have waited longer, but not once K. was lost to us. That was a key factor in us getting married well before he was done with his education. You do not know what is going to happen in this life so can not wait on the big things. K’s Dad sent us a generous check for a wedding present (certainly not my intent in writing the letter but it was enough to feed us for two months so very much appreciated back in the use-teabags-twice days) and said some very nice things to me in return. His words stuck with all these years and when times got tough, financially or otherwise, I would remember what he wrote and know that we did the right thing getting married as soon as possible.
Something will come to me so I can finish my letter to M. Just not this morning I’m afraid.