May 27, 2017 was a Saturday and the beginning of a long holiday weekend. With doctors’ offices closed for Memorial Day weekend, the goal, for me, was to keep us as busy and as normal as possible.
I made plans with friends in Connecticut. The kids ran around the backyard playing on the swing set. Matt talked sports with the guys and I drank one too many glasses of Rose on the deck with the other girls. It was an easy day, mostly free of any kind of cancer talk, with friends who we loved like family.
As I’ve said before, on easy days I tend to reach back further in time, re-reading what happened on May 27, 2016, 2015, etc. But this time, I ended up reading emails that related not to the date, but to the day. The first unofficial day of summer, the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.
And the emails were just funny. The pictures were fun. The videos made my heart swell. We hosted BBQs with old friends and threw parties with new friends. One year we tried to do both. We crafted signature cocktails, gossiped in lawn chairs, and ate ice cream cake. Matt always wanted to have (own?) a holiday. He wanted our house to be associated with some celebration, and Memorial Day weekend was the one we tried. Unfortunately, (or fortunately because we’ve still never peeled the stickers off the playroom floor from our 2013 attempt) we never became known as the Memorial Day party house. But it was fiercely fun to try.
Saturdays are generally difficult for G. She calls them Satur-boo-days. Her dislike stems from the fact that February 3, 2018 was a Saturday. When she first told me she hated Saturdays I thought she’d inherited a flair for the overdramatic from me. But, as it turns out, she’s not alone in hating a particular day of the week. Many of the widows in my Facebook group can’t face Tuesdays or Thursdays each week because it’s the day they lost their partner.
Which led me to examine why Saturday doesn’t bother me. It didn’t take long to figure it out. I don’t feel like I lost Matt on Saturday, February 3. February 3rd was the day he took his last breath, but I feel like I lost him a little Monday, June 6, 2016 and Tuesday, September 12, 2017 and Friday, January 19, 2018, and everyday that came after. Like I’ve said before, brain cancer is brutal in that way.
But looking at this Saturday in particular, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, I couldn’t hate this day, anyway. Because, what I found, overwhelmingly, when rewinding time to the last Saturday in May, was joy. And friendship. And that there’s really no need to have that last glass of wine.
I hope one day Saturdays are easier for G. I hope one day she’ll be able to remember February 3, but still find all that I’ve found and more in looking back on this day. (Especially about that last glass of wine.)