And Just Like That ……

…… it’s year 14.

That’s 168 in dog years.
Which totally feels appropriate some days.

But this year ……
This year was different (and yes, I realize what an understatement that is for the entire world but I’m not talking about Covid).

This year, for the first time in 168 dog years ……
I forgot.
Didn’t see it coming.
Even though I know the date.
Even though …… even though …… everything.

The picture above is my calendar.
The calendar that I change every day.

As I was on my way to bed on Dec 16th I switched the date on the calendar to the 17th.
And never thought about it.

I went through the entire day not thinking about it.
I looked at that date more than once.
And the only thing I thought was, “I need to make three phone calls tomorrow.” because the 18th happens to be the birthday of my sister, my brother and my step-dad.
That’s all I thought.

Then last night I received a text from a loving friend, saying that she’s thinking of me and of Jim (even though she never met him …… I love friends like that).
And just like that ……
I remembered.

I sat on my sofa, stunned. My brain turned to a kind of spider web of mush and I really couldn’t think. I was just …… stunned.
And then I said two words, aloud.
“Holy shit”
That’s all.

I’m still stunned …… 18 hours later.
My brain still doesn’t know what to think.
I “know” it’s a good thing.
My mind knows that, even in its state of shock.
But my heart.
My heart feels sad that I forgot.
It’s a strange kind of limbo.

I have no plans for today.
Which is probably good because I feel like I just need to sit with this.
Well, sit with it and watch the new Sex in the City episodes.
Which I already did.
And yes, I cried. But it wasn’t a “bad” cry.
It was more of an “I get it” cry.
Not “I get it but I wish I didn’t”.
Not “I can’t believe this is my life”.
Not “I will never survive this”.
Just …… “I get it.”

I’ve missed him a lot lately.
I missed him at OSU’s Homecoming.

I missed him when our granddaughter played in front of his picture so that he could watch her play.

I missed him at my niece’s wedding, especially as I watched my brother dance with his daughter.

I missed him at Thanksgiving when all of the grands were around.

I missed him on birthdays, anniversaries, days in Texas, days in NY, when I see my children, etc.
You get the picture, right?
I miss him still.

But for the first time.
The very first time.
I forgot.
Just like that.

16 thoughts on “And Just Like That ……

  1. malinnsaxemecom

    Janine – Wow! I know you will never stop missing him, you will never stop cherishing every memory, and stop thinking of him, but this was such a sign of healing! Love you and miss you!

  2. Saundra bukys

    Janine Thanh’s for sharing. Gives me hope that there will come a time when it is so raw everyday. Your family looks wonderful. Merry Christmas

  3. Jo Ann Cook

    Janine, I learn so much every time I read your blog (and, I’ve been reading it from its first publication). I’ve learned T.A.N.W., the hurt is one that can’t be explained; that really no one understands, but those that are “in the club and certainly did not apply to be in this club.” You’ll never know how you’ve helped me survive the unthinkable. And, now, you’re showing me healing and letting me know that one day in the future , I’ll feel that healing, too. And, Friend, I’m grateful!

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Jo Ann, I can’t express how much I hate that you get it. My heart breaks for you and the missing of Mike. But I also can’t express how much you mean to me and how grateful I am that you’ve always been here for me. Your love and support has meant more than you know. I love you. Very, very much.

  4. Debra Morrison

    Wow, Janine! An amazing event indeed…and WHO knows the full meaning…other than acceptance of your humanness and perhaps a welcoming of yet another new chapter, (or not). AND, I DO feel that Jim was happy…and present now to support you. I love you, girl!

  5. Lorraine Fritch

    Janine, I remember when I turned that corner, too, 10 years later. Every spring, “death march” thinking would kick in when the calendar turned to March. (This is when we got the diagnosis, here was the hospital admission, oh yeah… we celebrated my birthday in his hospital room, etc). But the year I began planning to crisscross the country in an RV, all that just evaporated. It was so surprising! My year researching RVs, camping options, people and places to visit gave me an entirely new focus. Yes, I wish he was here with me, but I’m having a wonderful adventure anyway.

  6. Natalie S

    Susie E and I were together Monday talking about December 18th. I don’t think I ever told you it is also my Dad’s birthday and Susie’s dad’s birthday. My Dad turned 91, Susie’s 90. Neither of them were nice dads. My dad has mellowed with age and actually become nicer and more loving with dementia. A true gift from God for me.
    With that being said, when Susie and I talked about the upcoming birthdays, we talked about Jim. Jim the man, Jim your husband and Jim-what a GREAT dad!
    I love you!

  7. Chris, who used to lurk

    I’ve learned so much from reading your blog- and now I need to go re-learn it. Last week, I unexpectedly joined the club.


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