Interpretation by Michelle Meyer (that’s me)
Today, the 18th of August, is a significant day for me in two very divergent ways.
Significance #1 Nineteen years ago today I reluctantly attended my own wedding shower. See, I didn’t really want a wedding shower, but my friend Mary would not let me off that hook. She planned a celebration of my upcoming nuptials at Frontenac State Park in Minnesota and sought my consent on not only the location (gorgeous place, by the way) but on details such as do NOT bring a gift, DO make it a potluck, and NO stupid games.
I was 31. I didn’t need presents. What I wanted were stories. Stories about how I met the person telling the story or some other story about our relationship that would offer everyone a chance to understand why each women was an important part of my life.
I got wonderful stories. And a yummy potluck. And presents. (People don’t know how to follow rules.) So I said thank you, tucked my gift bags away, and then we all played outside with hula hoops, which does not qualify as a stupid game because the sight of 30-something and 40-something women hula hooping is just funny. And it was great exercise after the potluck. Did I mention that I am a really good hula hooper and I totally out hooped everyone? Either that or they let me win because I was a bride-to-be.
Significance #2 Eleven months ago today my mom died. August 18th is one month shy of the one year marker and I have dreaded the 18th of every single month for all of these past 11 months because on the 18th I remember all of the details of that worst day of my life all over again. On the morning she died I remember thinking, How did the sun come up? During the afternoon I remember thinking, Why are people walking, and talking, and laughing, and planning futures? Why are boats sailing and birds swooping as if it’s just another beautiful day?
Which brings me back to Significance #1. My wedding shower. It was outside in a beautiful park on a beautiful day. We were laughing and talking and hula-hooping. I was planning a future and geese were beginning their migration cycle. Meanwhile someone, somewhere was suffering. Maybe someone at that park was walking by and thinking, Why are you talking and laughing and hula hooping? Why are you planning a future?
Eleven months ago I thought, How do I go on? Today, as I watched a flock of geese fly overhead in a perfect “V” I thought, How do I not go on?
I’m still here. So I’m going to do my best to heal, hold the joy, and honor the grief. Good luck to all of us.