Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The month persists, with a new mission

Monday was “officially” the second anniversary of the day Nigel died, and the Friday before marked 104 weeks, which is two years. The the date itself, September 20, moves around the calendar, while weeks are cumulative. They’re just different ways of marking time, and I don’t think either one matters for something like this. So, I don’t plan to publicly talk much about either measure of time every year in the future: I want to carry what Nigel and I had into my future, and not just think about the day it ended.

Which isn’t to say I could ever forget about the day or date—of course I’ll remember it!—it’s just that I don’t want to focus on the loss of Nigel and of our life together. The more time that passes since that September Friday in 2019, the more I want to focus on the things that make me so grateful for Nigel’s life and our life together, and I want to focus on that.

Besides, the measurement of time is a weird thing, anyway. When I posted last year about the 52 week mark, I said:
I’m noting the anniversary in weeks mainly because I have several times before, but I know that in future years I’ll remember it mostly by the anniversary date, and not the specific week or day of week, just as I have for all the happy anniversaries we shared. I think that if that’s so common with happy memories, maybe it’s a good idea for bad memories, and especially horrible ones.
I still think that—though I know I’ll remember the day of the week. Even so, I won’t be pointing out weeks anymore, not the least because keeping track of the number of weeks gets more and more complicated as time passes. For example, the next time that September 20 will fall on a Friday will be 2024, but that will also be 261 weeks later, not 260 (260 weeks will be the week before, September 13, that year…). That takes far too much head space to contemplate (and Google to calculate…). That effort would be far better spent on remembering Nigel, not trying to be pedantically precise about how long it’s been since he died. In fact, obsessing about that would mean focusing even more on the end. Nope, not me.

Obviously, thinking about Nigel and our awesome life together will inevitably mean remembering the end, especially on every September 20. I can’t imagine a time in which what I wrote last year won’t still be true:
I think of him every day, cry sometimes, miss him always, smile at memories of good times, and laugh about his cheeky humour and how he could be such a loveable jerk when he wanted to be. I’m not sad just because he died, I’m sad because all of the good stuff that went with him.
That’s just my reality, and I don’t actually need a particular day to experience any of it. However, as I was saying on Monday, I’m also keenly aware of how much Nigel wanted me to be okay, and that’s now my mission, for lack of a better word.

My intention, then, is that I’m not going to be making a big deal out of this “anniversary” anymore. Making it to, and through, the second year without Nigel is a big achievement, but that work is now just an ongoing part of my life and reality, not something that only has relevance in September. If I want to carry what Nigel and I had into my future, and not just think about the day it ended, then I both need and want to focus on the future.

All that, yes. But I’ll still hate September.


Roger Owen Green said...

Arithmetically speaking, my goodness, you have a fascinating mind. "The next time that September 20 will fall on a Friday will be 2024, but that will also be 261 weeks later, not 260." Wow.

Arthur Schenck said...

Well! It started like this: I knew there had to be some sort of formula or rule or whatever for working out the pattern, and I ended up on a mathematics geeks' website where, among the few words I recognised, I saw there was, in fact, a rule (that's somehow related to something called the "Doomsday rule", though I'll have to take their word for it). But there were several versions, a long with some sort of mathematical notions or whatever.

Mathematics has never been a friend of mine: We speak entirely different languages (and I'm pretty sure that math only speaks backwards while standing on its head). So, I looked at the Calendar on my computer to find the next Friday date. Working out the weeks just meant Googling "260 weeks after September 20, 2019". All of which means, there's lots of stuff I don't know, and a whole bunch I don't understand, but I'm pretty good at finding stuff out, anyway.

Roger Owen Green said...

I actually figured out this drift when I was doing ABC Wednesday. X might be on Tuesday, Dec 22 in 2009, but moves back a couple weeks by 2019. Or something like that.

Arthur Schenck said...

I seem to recall it all depends on when the starting date is relative to Leap Year Day (Nigel's day was the September before). So, for that date, the pattern is 5,6,11,6,5,6,11,6, and, I guess, repeating from there. Unless it's not. I get the basic reasons for all that—Leap year mucks everything up, even without that business of skipping Leap Years because it's divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400. Part of me wishes I understood the formula for how it works, but it's only a tiny part of me. Most of me doesn't really care. I just look at a calendar when a date matters. And then I probably forget it and have to look it up again.

Roger Owen Green said...

I actually LOVE this calendar stuff.

Arthur Schenck said...

Clearly I do, too. Also, I devoured the Almanac every year, and the calendar section was always one of my favourites to look at.