I have an aunt who is in her late eighties, and often when I talk to her she will tell me about some of her old acquaintances, or she keeps reminiscing of people who were famous in her youth, people she used to admire and respect. These comments usually include something along the lines of ‘if s/he hadn’t died when s/he did, then s/he would have…’ and with these comments she keeps bringing those idealized dead to life in her mind, putting them in a context that is not their own. The one thing that never seems to occur to her is that if those people hadn’t died when they did… chances are that by now they would have died of something else. I mean, most of those people would be over a hundred years old by now, some would have been something like a hundred and fifty. And yet she keeps saying of every new development ‘If s/he hadn’t died, s/he would have…’
Today is a weird day. For most of my life December 27 has been a day to be remembered and celebrated. No, it is not my birthday, or my anniversary in the traditional sense of the word, but it is a day that marked one of the most important turning points in my life. The thing is that in the past few years my life has changed and what it was supposed to celebrate no longer quite seems to apply, not to mention that there is no one here with me who actually understands what this day actually means to me… and yet as far as I am concerned it is a date that still matters. The thing is that ex-anniversaries are not one of those milestones that are supposed to be celebrated, there are no greeting cards to commemorate them, but they are still there, they are still a part of who we are… and they still matter.