Another significant date has passed. It’s now been two years and two days since Maggie’s Angel Day. It’s difficult to understand how two opposing feelings can rub up against each other and not cause a significant amount of mental friction, enough to label me more than just a little nuts. It seems like just moments ago I was hugging her at the airport after she flew back home from MD Anderson (it was such a great hug – I had had missed her so much that weekend.) I can feel her arms around me, her hands open wide and palms pressing into my shoulder and back. I can remember how she felt as she sighed softly, happy to be home to me back in my arms. And other memories are still so familiar. I can still remember how her hair felt in my fingers or how it felt to snuggle my face into the crook of her neck. I could draw out on paper the freckles on her shoulder and I can still feel the small of her back in my hand. It wouldn’t surprise my body or heart if she walked right through the door. I would go right back to holding her, hugging her and loving her like she never left. Yet it also seems like that other moment, the one two years and two days ago, was so long ago, like a dream. It’s been two years since I last kissed my baby. TWO YEARS. So long ago yet like it all just happened. How does that not seem a little crazy?
My head shrink tells me that the two-year mark is a psychologically significant, that people who learn the news can get their heads around two years without experiencing much of an associated shock. Somehow “more than two years ago” is less jarring than “18 months ago” or even “20 months ago.” “More than two years” can be dismissed as “some non-descript time in the past.” If it happened more than two years ago, then it basically didn’t happen, right? Oh, anyone who makes that little misguided assumption is going to be quite surprised one day….
I know that May 4 will always be a day for many people to remember to be sad that Maggie isn’t here anymore. I know people gathered in various parts of the town to drink wine and toast her life that day. I also know that my reaction to that date confuses some people and they wonder why I’m not more sad. But as I’ve said before (exactly last year about this time), May 4th is just another day to me, just another long day without my baby to hold, just like May 3, May 2, May 1, or even February 28, or February 14, or <fill any significant or not significant date here>. Just another day.
I suppose in some ways I look forward to when May 4th will be a reminder for me to remember her. Perhaps May 4th will become more significant as my daily emotional noise lessens. As the little reminders, the firsts, the lasts, and the landmines fade to rare occurrences instead of the daily or hourly occurrences they are now, one day I’ll forget to remember. Then May 4th will remind me. You know, just in case I forgot.
Until then, May 4th is just another day – one more day without my baby.
I love you, My Baby, no matter where you are. I miss you no more today than I did yesterday and no less than I will tomorrow.