It's nearly nightfall and I sit looking out my front windows at clouds on the horizon and trees being buffeted by gusty winds. Somehow it seems to mirror what's going on inside me tonight, the eve of one of those anniversaries.
Tomorrow would have been our 33rd wedding anniversary and, had he lived, Ray's 94th birthday. Even though he died over six and a half years ago, those two anniversaries plus the anniversary of his death still have power to send me into a funk. Not a huge depressive funk where I don't think I can get out of bed tomorrow, but one that says I'm still grieving and, even though our marriage may not have been the best in the world, it mattered and still does.
We never made a lot out of birthdays or anniversaries. There wasn't a whole lot of spare cash for most of our marriage so presents were few and cards almost as scarce. Still, I don't think either of us ever forgot a birthday or our anniversary. If we did find a card at some time during the year, that we thought the other might think funny or enjoy, we'd buy it then and put it away, usually forgetting where we'd put it. So we started a sort of tradition where if we found a card we gave it to the other as soon as we got it home. That way we wouldn't lose it before it was needed.
Maybe we would only have Hamburger Helper for dinner that night or perhaps something special that he especially liked such as biscuits and gravy or liver and onions, but it was what we did to celebrate. He always had a birthday cake, most often a pineapple upside down cake which was his favorite and which, fortunately, was one of my specialties. I still make those cakes, for several friends who love having one for their birthdays, but I always think of Ray when I make one.
So I'm feeling a bit maudlin as the evening grows darker. I had hoped to take tomorrow off from work just to stay home and maybe grieve a bit on my own or perhaps just relax, but since that isn't possible, I'll go to work as usual and save the other stuff for afterwards. Dinner will be simple, there won't be any cake, but there will be memories.
He annoyed the heck out of me a lot of times, and things weren't always peachy, but, you know, I really do miss him. Happy birthday tomorrow, Ray, and happy anniversary.