It’s that time of year again: the one where people in my family tred lightly wondering how I’m going to react to the fact that it’s March 27. Today is my least favorite day of the year. It’s the one I would be fine with skipping over. The one that could just fall off the calendar and I’d be ok. It’s been 27 years of hating this day. Well, maybe 26. I don’t know that I actually hated it 27 years ago.
27 years ago I had my first major spine surgery. It was the one that removed most of the tumor wreaking havoc on my spine and nervous system. It was the one that preserved my ability to walk until August 13, 2013. It was the one that preserved my bladder control (something I’m so lucky to still have!!). You’d think it’d be my favorite day, right?
27 years ago was also the day my grandpa died. Yep, right in the middle of that surgery, my Poppy passed away. We knew it was coming. But it was still more than my 10 year old psyche could handle. And thus, it became my least favorite day.
For nearly a decade I couldn’t talk about March 27 without crying. Forget about even handling it well. The day was miserable.
Last year I decided to do something different: I took my son on our first solo car trip to a far destination. We drove two hours to the grave site of my Poppy to pay our respects. It was a beautiful thing to be able to tell my one year old stories about his great-grandpa. And it was beautiful to see him stand over my Poppy’s grave so serenely. It’s a memory that I will cherish forever.
This year, I woke up to a beautiful clear morning in my happy place (my favorite little town in Wyoming in our perfect little cabin). I spent some time reading my Bible which cleared my head. (Note: this is not something I often- or ever- do. I haven’t read the Bible since I took a bible as literature class in college. In fact, I gave up religion 27 years ago when I figured there couldn’t be a God who would put me through pain AND take my grandpa. But, then when I became paralyzed, I found my way back to the Catholic church. And while I’m grateful that it brought me the comfort I needed when I needed it most after becoming paralyzed, I don’t try to push my beliefs on anyone. I have friends of all faiths, or no faith at all.) Then my little bubs and I went outside with the dogs while the hubs brought in firewood. After a few minutes, he joined us and we went on a hike up the hill behind our cabin. It was such a fun, random adventure. The hubs also took us into town and bought me a piece of my favorite pie which I am devouring in about two hours (yes, I am counting down to dessert time!!!).
So, March 27 is still my least favorite day. I could still really do without it, because it still makes me sad. But, I think that my Poppy is happy looking down and seeing that today I chose to spend it in my favorite place in the world with my two favorite guys in the world.
And if you’d like to see what I read this morning and what really spoke to me, it’s Psalm 30: