Recently, I received a text from my youngest sister saying she’d just experienced a cry run, where one bursts into tears while jogging. I asked why, and she replied that she’d been thinking about our father who passed away in 2020. Then my twin chimed in. She, too, had been remembering Dad and had spent the morning a little weepy. Sisters 2 and 3 followed with similar remarks, and I was left wondering what was going on. Why was everyone sad?
When a photo came through from the cemetery, it finally dawned on me: It was the two-year anniversary of Dad’s death, and I’d forgotten. Like, completely and totally forgotten. If I hadn’t been singing John Denver in a hallway full of teens at the exact moment of this discovery, I would have fallen apart. But Friday karaoke must go on, so I stifled my emotions and continued mangling, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Take me home, indeed.
Last year, I’d been hyper aware as this date approached, spending the preceding days dwelling on that final summer and the hours leading up to his passing. This time? I hadn’t given Dad a single thought in over a week, and it was only in the context of being frustrated that he’d failed once again to use his heavenly presence to secure me lottery tickets to the Masters. Am I a terrible daughter? Sibling? Merely human?
My husband believes my forgetting is a sign that I’m healing — that I’ve moved through the grief to a place where Dad isn’t gone, but also isn’t ever-present. I hope he’s right. I kind of feel like a cry run myself.