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Anniversaries we (don’t) forget.

May 2009

May 2009

Somewhere in the past week I figured out it was March and then I realized the months before March were January and February.

Life does that sometimes, doesn’t it?

In January 2010 we committed our then nine-year-old son to a psychiatric hospital because he was suicidal. He’d had a tremendous amount of medical intervention and had PTSD as a result, he was clinically depressed and he wasn’t coping well with the demands of life. When I say demands of life, I mean he had trouble getting up in the morning, or writing his name on the top of a page and participating in school.

It was a horrible time for our family. His sister had just had a kidney transplant a few months earlier and her transplant and recovery brought up a lot of memories for everyone in the family, and most especially our son. For six weeks before he was spiraling downward into darkness you cannot imagine a child could do and there wasn’t anything we could do to pull him back into the light. I still feel the tears come when I read my post from that day, Driving away.

I’d remembered the anniversary of that horrible day about a week before, then life got in the way with a basketball season of 18 games for each kid ending, and the next semester and well, I never did write the anniversary post I used to post on my now closed down blog. It never left me, though, that day. The day never leaves me.

When he has a short blip of anger, I always wonder if we’re going to go back to that time. The time we had to hold him until the professionals took over his care. When we turned our kid over to someone else and left him in a building with strangers. It was traumatic for me, the anniversary of that date etched in my mind.

This year though, I didn’t mark the day with a post like the other three previous years. I felt that familiar feeling of sadness and gratefulness and wonder at my incredible kid and I made note of it on my To Do list to write about it, but then we were living life and that day from four years ago seemed far away.

But it never really is, is it?

April 2013

April 2013

When you have a loved one who suffers from a mental illness that is under control with therapy and meds, you often have periods of time when you sort of (like to) forget there could be a problem again someday. For stretches of hours at a time and several days even, I’ve forgotten that our son is at great risk over these teen years. Then something happens that reminds me, or I’m dispensing a med that keeps him stable and alive and engaged in living and I remember.

I remember to be grateful for the good times, the stable times. I remember to brace myself for what might happen and I remember to honor the anniversaries. The anniversaries I can’t forget. It’s possible I don’t want to forget them anyway.

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