I’ve been sitting outside this afternoon, thinking, thoughts whirling. August 27th, it’s an important day for me. It’s important I think to others that love me, but they have not stamped the date on their brain, like I have, because I’ve stamped it on my heart too. They simply remember there were some very bad days once a long time ago.
I’m embarrassed to say I shed a few tears. Sometimes I wish I could cry without tears. Embarrassed that someone might see me crying and try to bring me comfort. To have to try and explain how I feel on August 27th. I don’t want to have to explain. I can never quite say how it feels. The emotions are mixed. They lean more to overwhelming awe and gratefulness, but they are dusted with sorrow. There is no need to worry. I can let the tears cascade down my face like a waterfall, no one comes to sit with me and talk about August 27th.
I sit and I am still. Many think I don’t sit still enough, or begin to know how to even sit still. But I do know and I do sit still, especially on August 27th. I have no urgency to move. I watch the cardinal eat the seeds I just placed there for him 5 minutes ago. I celebrate with him in silence, that he has something to eat and I have a bird to watch. 11 years ago I would not have been able to see the bird through the tears that did cascade down my face. I hear the donkey braying down at the other end of the field. I think maybe he’s telling me to get over myself and get on with it. A few cicadas are somewhere about in a tree close by breaking the silence of me inside my heart.
August 27th, no one remembers the exact date but me, I don’t need to write it down, it’s stamped in my head and on my heart. There are no congratulatory phone calls or cards or flowers. I sit alone on my patio, not quite the same spot I sat 11 years ago with tears cascading down my face.
I can feel fall approaching and I remember exactly how it felt that day, 11 years ago on August 27th. It has been cool here a few days, but today, today is beautiful and I just want to sit and, and be. Just be. 11 years ago and a day I would not have cared about the Cardinal taking seed at my feeder. 11 years ago and a day I wouldn’t sit and wonder how beautiful tonight’s sunset will be. 11 years ago and a day I wouldn’t have stopped to smell the flowers.
Life goes on, no one else, not even my husband remembers the exact day unless I say something to jog his mind. He has other things on his mind right now and they are important, more important these days than August 27th. 11 years is a very long time ago to everyone else.
I thought all morning while I was at work, I should celebrate my important date. I should be kicking up my heels. I’ve come so far, much farther than I ever imagined. I thought my life changed for the worst that day, but now I know I’ve made it change for the better, most days, not every day though. Like the day my mother died, or the day my friend Sandy died, or the others days someone I loved died, from this thing that should have taken me, but didn’t.
Life goes on for everyone else around me today, normal life, the life they live and breathe, but on August 27th it comes to a halt for me. I sit and do not take this day or the others for granted and think of how to celebrate today, to celebrate me, to celebrate those I’ve lost in these last 11 years and before.
I celebrate with blue M & M’s. Yeah, blue M & M’s. Get over it! I saved all the blue M & M’s for last. Taken each one alone into my mouth and cried a little and with each blue M & M I thought of how much my life has changed. I’ve thought how blue I am today, yet what a sweet day it is and I am overwhelmed in awe that I am here, that I have arrived at this date, one more year. I celebrate alone with my blue M & M’s, feeling blue, but knowing it’s a sweet day to be alive and well. The tears have stopped and life goes on. August 27th will come to an end. I will watch the sun set alone tonight and I will put away the blue M & M’s and I will raise my glass to the setting sun and say, “Here’s to me, to those I loved and lost and here is to this day, August 27th, I’ve survived another year. And no one else will be the wiser to why I am blue on the inside, but smiling on the outside to such a sweet day to survive. You suck cancer, but I’m alive to tell the story one more year.