2016 is a weighted year for me. I’ve waited 20 years for this year, only to look back in disbelief, trying to recall the past 20 years of my life without my father. He passed on July 21st, 1996, I was 13. I changed forever that day, shed the skin of adolescence, grew a tougher skin, never again looked at the world as a child.
There are other anniversaries of sorts culminating this year: my best friend Brad and I have been friends for 20 years, my best friend Schnovey and I have been friends for 10 years. My close college friends/family Danny and Blair I’ve known 15 years now. This is how age creeps up on you, the years mount steadily, it takes more energy to recall days past, and the idea of getting older, of one day being “old,” comes into focus.
Right now though, I’m 32 and I survived 2015, which was one of my least favorite years in recent memory. In less than a month I’ll be 33 and 20 years away from the last time I was innocent and idealistic and believed in God. I’ll be 3 years away from 36, the age my father was when he passed away (that may be a tough birthday for me as well).
I realize there is no point in reliving the pain of loss in this way, giving false significance to dates and lengths of time. Yet, anniversaries bring a perverse comfort: lapping over a date year after year, remembering to remember, hoping never to forget.