On March 5th, I spent the anniversary of my stroke enjoying my damn life. I took the day off work, and my daughter and I got pedicures, ate Italian food, and saw a great movie. Then I dropped her off at work and took my son to dinner, and we walked around Target and It was a fun and wonderful day with the two people I love most in the world. I snuggled under my electric blanket and ended my day browsing through my Facebook Memories.
Facebook Memories, for those of you not sucked into the Facebook vortex (Are there any of you? Over the age of 25, I mean?) is a feature they deployed a couple of years back, and unlike most of their new features, I actually like this one. It throws up your old posts from previous years, and it can be a lovely, or cringe-worthy, or even potentially painful stroll down memory lane.
So I opened up the Memories tab, expecting to find posts about the stroke, of course. There was only one (from my daughter to all my friends, informing them). Guess I was a little busy with an exploding brain at the time. So I kept on scrolling.
And there it was. March 5, 2010. The day my husband walked out the door. I posted that he took the first custodial weekend. I watched the kids climb into the truck, then watched the truck pull out of the driveway. Then I crawled into my daughter's bed, clutching my son's favorite stuffed animal and cried myself to sleep.
So. That certainly sucked.
March 5, 2007. The date I got my son's autism diagnosis.
What are the odds? I mean, really, now.
I sat there in my bed with my phone in my hand, laughing hysterically through my tears, shaking my head and saying, "Are you kidding me?"
Three major, and I mean major life events. Three days where I helplessly realized my life was altering irrevocably, and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. And all of them on March 5th.
Ain't that some trippy shit?
So after reeling a bit, and then gathering my thoughts, I have to remember March 6th. The day I washed my face, brushed my hair and said, "Okay, what's next?" Because that's step one to getting through something that drops you in your tracks. You figure out what's next on the way to defining the new normal.
I've been watching the memories since then. How I posted from my hospital bed, "SEND JASON MOMOA!" How I posted in 2010 about taking down the ugly picture in the living room that the ex picked out but didn't take with him. How I replaced it with an enormous picture of brilliant metal-worked wildflowers, that I still love to this day. How I spent an entire morning in 2007 laying on the floor with my son, sharing his space, developing an understanding of how he looks at things.
And I think of all I've learned since then. About my son and his interesting brain. About the kindness of his friends, the dedication of his teachers, the beauty of his sister's love for him. About the wonder of getting to reinvent my life, invest time and creativity into my own dreams, and watch it pay off. About realizing I've been given another shot when I could have easily been dead, and knowing I'm not taking a minute of that for granted.
This March 5th had it's own share of tragedy. I did smudge my pedicure, after all. Next year, you better believe I'm spending March 5th hanging on a partially exhaled breath, and I can either hide under a blanket on my couch or spend the day chasing an adventure. I'm going to work toward the latter. As I told my daughter - "There's a book in here somewhere."
Watch this space next year.