August 24 is the hardest day of the year for me. Harder than Christmas. Harder than Thanksgiving. Harder than Sawan’s birthday. It’s the day that stole my husband from me. It’s the day that ripped my dreams from my grasp.
The week leading up to it has taken me by surprise. I know that I always brace myself for the difficulty of the day, but I had forgotten how rough the whole previous week was. This is my fourth one. You’d think it would start to feel familiar by now.
I can tell you in great detail what we did on the 21st, the 22nd, and the 23rd in 2009. Now, in 2013, I subconsciously, unintentionally, do mental check-ins throughout the day. Where were we? What were we doing? I hate it.
I feel fragile. Frayed.
You know those threads that hang off of cut-off jean shorts? I feel like I’m held together by those and pieces of chewing gum. But, when something is fragile, and you want to make sure none of the parts get lost, you stick them in an envelope, or a Ziploc baggie, and my friends and family are my envelope, keeping me encouraged, promising to just hang out near me on Saturday, texting me and emailing me encouraging words, remembering that it’s my hard day coming up. It makes me feel surrounded, protected. So that if the chewing gum doesn’t hold up, at least I won’t lose a piece forever, it’ll stay near by.