I keep remembering vivid moments from the past and think: “oh this is part of this grieving process everyone tells me I’m going through.” But Vernon isn’t always in the moments. Sometimes the memories are set in London, so I think: yes, this is about Vernon, time we spent there together. But when I try to embrace the snapshot in my mind, I realize it was a different memory, maybe one where I was a student there instead or maybe it wasn’t London at all, but New York, where he never went with me at all. Memories of Jr. High in another country altogether. Memories of High School. Memories of the new baby. Memories of Maki riding along on a piece of luggage to visit Los Angeles for the first time. Concerts. Christmases.
I feel a bit like a snow globe, all shaken up, memories and things I used to identify with swirling around in my head, but when I catch one, I realize it wasn’t the one I expected…or had hoped for. To reach for another analogy, I remember once writing (here, I believe) that Vernon’s brain injury was like an office that had been hit by a tornado (or something), papers and files in total disarray: his reality and his memories all mixed up and strewn about. Perhaps this has a touch of that…my own (very mild) brain injury. But there is nothing wrong with my brain. I actually love this time of memory and memorial. It’s like my life is flashing before my eyes in gently falling postcards that appear once every couple of hours. It’s just weirdly surprising that Vernon isn’t in all of them.
I think what may be happening here is a return to parts of myself, my underrated past. Perhaps they are returning to remind me of who I used to be alone, who I was with Vernon, with and without children, with varying dreams and disappointments, different outlooks. How many people can one be in a lifetime? They are all there, resettling ghosts, vague reminders that life is long and full of seasons.
I’m 45 years old. The oldest I’ve ever been.If I live to be 90, this is smack dab mid-life. I see the future splayed out before me in a way I never have. I’ve got a few ideas, but compared to my memory-littered past, its an empty plain.
No pictures tonight. Just thoughts. Might as well post…
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
― C.G. Jung