Ten years ago on this exact date . . . I have no idea what I was doing.
I know what was going on around this time ten years ago but I cannot, for the life of me, pin point what ten years ago today was. And it is kind of weird that I can't. I have a freakishly good memory. Freakish because it not only freaks out my husband but myself as well.
My memory is a photogenic one.
A couple of years after we had started dating, my husband had mentioned something about our first date.
He got it all wrong. So, I did what any sweet, normal girlfriend would do. I let him believe that he was right.
Not, really. I am not "any sweet, normal girlfriend". He was wrong and I let him know it. I corrected him. I let him know what movie we had scene and what time the movie had started. I told him the movie theater we went to, where we had sat, and what he was wearing, right down to his shoes. Up to that point, I thought everybody was able to remember those tiny details. I found out, that that is not the case.
And its just not with big days like First Dates, it is with anything.
I rarely forget a face. I sometimes pretend that I don't remember who someone is because I have learned how my memory can creep someone out. So . . . sometimes I pretend that I have no idea where I know so-and-so from.
For example: you pass someone in a store and you both look at each other and the look on the other's face is that they recognize you from somewhere. I try really hard to have this look on my face as well. Then, after a few minutes, they will say something like this, "You look really familiar to me, do I know you from somewhere?" And I will respond, "I was just thinking the same thing." All along, I know exactly where it was I had scene them, what season it was, who was with them and so on. But I do not say that!
I have learned that I don't. I used to. I stopped after I saw the looks on those peoples faces and that look said something like this, "Oh, my! Have they been stalking me?" or "This girl has no life. I think I will end this conversation right here, right now."
So, I pretend.
My memory can be really painful too. Because I just don't remember vaguely. I remember in vivid detail. When a memory surfaces, I smell the scents from that day, that moment. I can feel the chill from a winters day or the warmth of the summers sun. I feel all the emotions from that moment and the emotions that are bubbling over in the current one. I see the faces of those that were near. I hear the words that were spoken floating on air around. If I was alone, I remember where I was sitting and how I was sitting. I remember which lights were on, what TV show was playing and which scene was being acted out.
In the recent months, I have wished for my memory to not be so clear. It has been painful. All consuming. My freakish memory has made this grieving thing all the more hard. I remember every detail, every moment I had with Emmerson and Vivienne. Most of the time, those memories come out of no where as I am going about my day and they hit me like a sledge hammer.
But then I am so grateful that I am able to remember, to feel those moments with them again. Those memories, those moments, every one of them were blessed moments. They are all that I have.
I cannot remember everything. Just almost everything.
Which is probably why I am unable to remember what I was doing ten years ago today. It is a little frustrating but also a little liberating to know that I am not a slave to every moment that I have lived.
I cannot remember what I was doing ten years ago today but I can remember what was going on ten years ago this month.
My husband had got a new job with a different airline. We were not that many months away from September 11, 2001 and the airlines were still clouded with uncertainty. He was in training down in Texas for almost three months. We had only been married for a year and a half and the three months apart had just started. The flight benefits the company offered were not yet ours and we could not afford for me to fly down and visit him even once. He was too busy with training to come home, so we spent three very long months apart.
After those three months, he was based out of Boston. He was stuck on reserve (its basically like being on-call) so even if he didn't get called out to fly, he still had to be in Boston since that was his base. He was on reserve six days a week. I took advantage of our flight benefits and flew out to Boston as much as I could to visit him.
He had one day off every week. Since he was commuting, he flew home on and back on that one day off. We spent six hours or less together a week, if that. Most of those days, he stayed in Boston because the trek home wasn't worth it.
Ten years ago I remember missing him A LOT. I was frustrated A LOT. I spent a lot of time wishing for my husband to have a "normal" job. I wanted to be able to plan for our future without having to wait for his job circumstances to be "better".
Ten years ago, I felt like our life was on-hold due to his job. We wanted to move but needed to wait to see how things with the airline was going and for his schedule to improve. We had to wait on those things before we could consider moving, starting a family, planning vacations and for me to go back to school.
It was so frustrating!
In those ten years, my husband has gone from being a First Officer stuck on reserve and commuting to holding a line (having an actual schedule), upgrading to Captain and being based out of the city we live in.
All of that has helped but his career is still a little frustrating and a little lonely for the both of us at times.
Just writing this, many memories are flooding me right now. I remember a lot of those flights out to Boston to visit him. I remember where I was sitting on the flights, what I wore, things we did in that city, things we said to each other and how we embraced after too many days apart.
Some of those memories are sweet. Some are bitter. All of them have been worth it.