When I finally had a minute to myself in the waiting room, I looked it up on my phone. December. December? It's not until December? How could I have been so "off" in my timing?
Time, time, time. We get so used to the way things always go. We are comforted by the rhythms and patterns of our lives. Annierie measures time in planting and growing seasons, Marshmallow Man lives for tailgating season, HocoHouseHon observes life from her precious porch, or yearns for the change of season which will mean it is warm enough to go back out and celebrate with an iced coffee and her journal. I know a young gentleman in Howard County whose life is inextricably linked to the pace of political campaigns; he revels in it.
What is the framework of time for you? Is it the school year? Is it shaped by sport seasons of your children, swim team, perhaps? Or the theater/symphony season? All of us have our ways of making sense of the rise and fall of our days.
As children we are taught in school to observe the changes of the seasons. We collect brightly colored Autumn leaves, look forward to making the first snowball of Winter, watch for Robin Redbreast in Spring, and run outside barefoot in the grass when Summer makes its first appearance.
Humans like things to make sense, even if it means using our own frameworks to make sense of things. I read somewhere that dreams are actually streams of chaotic and unrelated happenings, but our human brains insist on organizing them in a more orderly, narrative way. And so it is with time. We think we have it under control.
And then something comes and rips an enormous hole in your space-time continuum. Like the loss of a friend. When that happens, it seems to remove the linch-pin that holds everything together. It is humbling to realize then how fragile our personal universe is, how delicately held together.
I wonder if that is why some Victorians used to keep a departed loved one's room "exactly the way he left it." Was it a way of exerting control over something that felt so out-of-control? Or the custom of mourning dress: a way of marking time instead of losing track of it? I wonder because I don't understand how it feels like seven months have passed since May, and not three.
Grieving has its own seasons. Remembering with joy may be the only signposts we have along the way. So today I am remember the Dookie Awards, established by Dennis Lane on his blog Tales of Two Cities in 2006.
And when December comes, well, by golly, I am going to be ready.
Ian Kennedy pointed out that the Dookies began in 2006 on his blog, now-defunct. (HoCoHayduke) He goes on, "Wordbones certainly made them his own, however, from 2007 on..."