Well, it's the 6th again. It's the one day I wish I could just erase from the calendar. It's the day I have come to dread. It's the day that symbolizes another month has passed since James died. At 20 months I am definitely on the downhill side of 2 years. How did that happen so quickly?
I knew the 6th was on the way. My friend and nephew share an October 3rd birthday. I knew Saturday was the 3rd which meant the 6th was right around the corner. Only a funny thing happened this month. The fact that the 6th was coming was in the back of my mind, but for once, it wasn't front and center and I wasn't filled with dread. When I woke up this morning, it wasn't the first thing on my mind. I felt sad when I woke up, but it wasn't raw, gut-wrenching pain. It was the underlying sadness that is now a part of me. It wasn't even an overwhelming sadness. In fact, I was in a pretty decent mood when I first woke up. Which is actually kind of strange since I am NOT a morning person, I was having a crappy dream, I was thirsty and I had a Charley horse in my right calf-again.
Then I started to think about the day ahead and remembered I had to pay bills tonight because I decided to be a slacker and play on Facebook last night instead of being responsible. I pay my bills on the 5th and the 20th. That's how I remembered today is the 6th. And it did make the sadness a little worse, but not by much.
I had a moment on the way to work today where everything could have taken a turn for the worse. I was sitting at a stoplight (there's a shocker) and an ambulance came up from behind with its lights flashing. "Is that the one?" My first thought whenever I see an AMR ambulance popped into my head as it flew by. "Is someone else about to lose someone they love?" I felt myself welling up with tears; I felt my body go tense. I forced myself to take a deep breath. I told myself it was okay; I was okay repeatedly until I was able to force the tension out of my body. "I can do this. I am okay. I am okay."
And I was okay. Throughout the day, I could feel myself trying to make myself feel sadder than I was. At one point I felt guilty because I was actually in a pretty decent mood. "It's the 6th. I should be really sad. I shouldn't be in a good mood" was followed by "James would be okay with you being in a good mood. James would want you to be in a good mood. It's been long enough. Enough 6ths have gone by that you don't have to feel so bad on all of them anymore."
It's my favorite time of year and today was an absolutely beautiful day-a great day to be alive. It was chilly this morning (damn it. I left my coat at work again. Now 2 of them are there. I am going to run out of coats soon), but sunny and warm with just a hint of a chill in the air this afternoon. The leaves are just starting to turn. I took advantage of the beauty of today and took the dogs for a nice long walk (nothing gets the urge to get a third dog out of my system faster than walking my little darlings does!). I paid the bills. It didn't even phase me to write "Pd 10/6/09" on all of them.
Today is the 6th. Today I felt sad, like I do everyday. But I didn't fall apart. And I feel very good about that.