In 2016, about a week before J’s and my 11th wedding anniversary, I broke my left ankle.
I was just walking down the stairs. I thought I’d ruined our anniversary. But I hadn’t, of course. We just rolled with it. We still went out to Our Place for dinner and had a date night. J just told the restaurant we like to celebrate special occasions in (not the Chinese one, the other one, that is in a quaint, 2-story 19th century historic home) that we had to have a table on the first floor because stairs were out for me for 8 weeks (it ended up being 10 weeks). I thought that would be the worst thing that happened around our anniversary.
Last year, 4 days after our 14th wedding anniversary, and the DAY before our son’s scheduled spring vacation from school and a planned family RV trip to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, our beloved dog died.
All three of us…The Boy, J, and I…were wracked with grief. We cried it seemed endlessly. I wrote three entire blog posts here trying to deal with it, and that helped a bit, but…to be honest, it’s still hard. I still miss her. Hell, it’s almost been a year now and our house still occasionally feels empty without her. The oddest things have reminded me of her throughout the past year of her being gone. I know J thinks of her at weird times too. I wrote that post around Christmas about him getting emotional about getting rid of our old washing machine and that somehow reminded him of our dog. I just thought about her when we moved the clocks forward for Spring. The time changes were really easy this year…because we didn’t have a dog that insisted on potty and meal times being on her schedule not some ridiculous human construct of time. And now our anniversary is going to make me think about her…maybe forever. And The Boy’s spring vacations are going to make me think about her for as long as he has them. And I thought right after it happened that maybe we would…and maybe we should…cancel the spring vacation trip. But we didn’t. We rolled with it. And I think it helped us heal. To be together. Close to each other all the time without separation. J didn’t have to go into work and The Boy didn’t have to go into school and try and grieve in public. We were together and we were making the best of a tough situation. I thought that was the worst thing that would happen around our anniversary.
And now, here we are, 12 days from our 15th wedding anniversary, with The Boy doing non-traditional instruction and limited opportunities to celebrate because of COVID-19. There won’t be any trips alone together like we took for our 12th anniversary, because all travel opportunities are pretty much void. Space Camp and my trip to see my friend out of town were both canceled. There won’t be any fancy dinners out at our favorite restaurants, because dining rooms across our state are necessarily closed. We’ll be spending our anniversary and at least two weeks in front of it and probably at least a week behind it at home, not really doing a whole lot. I could say I think this is the worst thing that will happen around our anniversary, but in the past when I’ve had that conscious thought, I got proved wrong later, and I certainly WANT this to be the worst thing anyone anywhere experiences for a good long time and I hope it’s over soon and as painlessly as possible. And beyond that, I know we’ll get through it. Because J and I get through hard things together. We’ll roll with it. We’ll make the best of a tough situation. J bought me a doughnut pan and I made some homemade powdered sugar doughnuts because the ones that come in a bag at the grocery store might be sold out and we were craving some. That’s my anniversary gift for 15 years. I’m not sure what’s traditional for this amount of time. I’d have to look it up. But it’s probably not a doughnut pan. And later today, we’re going to that restaurant in the quaint, two-story 19th century home for curb-side take-out to try and give them a little cash flow to be able to officially reopen when this mess finally ends. We love that place. I’d hate to see them disappear. And we’ll stay at home on the weekends and watch funny and nostalgic things on streaming services and play cards and board games and read books and take walks (while staying at least 6 feet away from other people). And we’ll come up with new ideas of what to make for dinner and dessert based on what we could find at the store. And we’ll take care of each other.
And it won’t be so bad. It’ll be a good anniversary, like all the other ones I’ve spent with J. Because we’ll be together. And close. And home.