Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Time to Come Down”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, August 24, 2020

Yeah, I’m going to do it! Yep. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to do it today! Ugh, such a hard task! It’s time, though. I’ve had my birthday cards up on display since before July 14—that’s way over a month now. Usually, our routine was to display our cards for a month then take them down. It’s a good plan. A month is a fair amount of time to enjoy our cards. This year, though, I find it challenging to do this one simple act of taking down the cards.

Why? Oh, because of many reasons, but the primary one is that I enjoy getting greeting cards more than getting a present itself. Receiving cards spread out strategically over the year was something that I looked forward to like a kid waiting for Santa. We started the year by getting birthday cards for Mark in February, then come July for me. Next up, in September, for our anniversary. Finally, a wealth of Christmas cards to wrapping up the year beautifully. 

Imagine how daunting it was for me last year—the first year after Mark moved to heaven—when suddenly not a single card arrived in February. After over three decades, that was dejecting regardless of how you cut it. This year, two dear friends asked if it would be okay to send a card in remembrance of Mark’s birthday. Oh, yeah! You bet! Bring it on! They consoled me by telling me that they wanted to send a card the prior year but didn’t want to upset me, so they declined. I found that endearing, but I wouldn’t have minded at all. I continue to celebrate Mark’s birthday, just differently. I’m creating new traditions, and I welcome anybody who wants to join me.

Around our anniversary last year, not a single card arrived, which reminded me that the life I loved was truly gone—no doubt about it. Specific times during the year, the loneliness crept in, and that was one of them. 

Whether I liked it or not, my personal holidays got cut in half. I can’t complain, though, because I know there are many people out there who don’t get a single card for any occasion. I know that. I’m not ungrateful. I don’t take anything for granted. Although getting cards don’t mean the same thing to everybody. Just like taking photos, to me, pictures are treasures. To some of my friends, they couldn’t care less. That’s just how it goes.

Now I get it! I see why it’s so hard to take down my birthday cards this year. I want to cherish them longer. Hold on to them for as long as I can. Keeping my cards up longer doesn’t make up for the loss, though. Nothing will. That’s okay. Enjoying these cards in the middle of the year keeps me going until Christmas when my entertainment center will fill up with Christmas cards to wrap up the year nicely as it always does. For now, it’s time for my birthday cards to come down.

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