Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How to Never Forget the Losses

One of two terrapins traveling on its annual pilgrimage through my parents' yard.
I'm fond of Facebook...and I think most of my friends are aware of my "addiction." I manage Facebook pages for a few clients, so it's second nature for me to toss up a photo or a pithy saying on a daily basis on my own wall or pages while at that site. While this habit has become...a habit, I've realized lately that my additions to Facebook have become somewhat of a diary.

In my searches for what has happened in my life over the past two years, I've suffered pangs of hurt, sadness, and even utter and bitter loss over and over again. That pain has worsened with the new Facebook "look what happened on this day last year...or two years ago...or even a decade ago..." feature. Although I'm sure this daily reminder of the past is meant well, it can shake my socks off sometimes.

This morning, for instance, I was whacked in the face with the image of the terrapin shown here. Yes, it's just a turtle. But, it's one of two turtles that make an annual pilgrimage through my parents' yard. These two turtles...or their relatives...have been traipsing through my folks' yard since they moved here in 2000. The turtles just don't pass through. They stick around for a few days, playing hide-and-seek with each other and with us in the gardens before they move on.

While at some other point in my life I might have thought warmly about this photo and its family tradition, I happened to glance at the photos that braced that turtle image in my Facebook "mobile uploads" album. Those photos portrayed our first visit to the teaching hospital where mom was first diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma. We had just returned from that city to discover the turtles in the yard, exactly two years ago today.

I'm glad I have this chronicle of events that happened over the past two years, because those clues are vital for writing the memoir. But, I'm not very keen on how I keep getting pinched by the past in the most unexpected ways. Sometimes, I feel as though I'm picking at a scab. What saddens me further is that we haven't seen the terrapins yet this year.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe I'll get lucky and see them before I have to return home this upcoming weekend. And, maybe one day I'll truly be grateful for the memories.