You know something is momentous when all other events are either before or after. You know how it is.
That was not long after we were married. That happened weeks after C. was born. I found out about that the day after 9/11. Oh, that was sometime between Mom's and Dad's deaths. Oh, that was right before she went into the hospital. It's been 5 months and 18 days since R. died.
And nothing was ever the same after any of these, but it was.
They cause tremendous changes, but we get used to those alterations soon enough. What was tumultuous has now been accommodated into the routine. The absolute freaking miracle of having a brand new human being in your life soon pales beside weeks without sleep, spit up on everything you own, and dirty diapers. The awareness of how alone you are after your parents die becomes a nod of acknowledgment to your independence.
This is still happening. I no longer expect R. to be here when I wake up. His absence is part of my routine. Yet, there are times I think I hear him, and it feels only normal and right. Then I realize that normality is merely illusion. Those are the raw moments because nothing feels settled then.
Big events, joyous and tragic, stand to the side of normal time. They are our mile markers, our sign posts, our touchstones. It's not just events that they test and measure. They help us see who we were before and after, what changes were wrought and what we did with them. That thought scares me a little since I'm still picking up so many dropped pieces. I just have to keep reminding myself that it's still too soon to tell where this phase of life will take me.
grief, life, time