I remember dates like Rainman counted toothpicks. Don't be flattered that I remember your birthday. I remember Mrs. Friedman's birthday and she was my second grade teacher.
My memory for dates is a talent with no real value, like baton twirling. Occasionally, I've reminded others about an upcoming birthday or anniversary and I've saved the day, but being an idiot savant is definitely not bankable.
Jean, my bearevment shrink warns me (and she oughta know - After all, she boasts every time that she's treated "THOUSANDS" of grieving people in her career) that as it closes in on the first anniversary people experience film like memories that are difficult because it's like watching a movie for the second time, but now we know the terrible ending.
She's right. I wish I could turn it off. I'm remembering dates and seeing scenes from last year even more acutely now. This past Saturday, the 10th which was the 11th last year was my brother-in-law's 65th birthday party (his actual birthday is March 6th) and Jimmy drove 45 minutes to his house in New Rochelle.
Thirty-three days later he was dead. How is this possible? Today, it's exactly 11 months and tonight last year we went to our friend Mimi Scott's reading. I didn't drag him like I did with some events. He liked Mimi and he didn't want to disappoint her. He threw up in the men's room.
Tomorrow would have been Jimmy's 57th birthday. I don't have to be an idiot savant to remember that, of course. I'd be a plain idiot to forget. I realize this.
The 15th was his first catscan, casting the beginning of concern that the pain Jimmy was feeling was not just indigestion. On the 22nd he had an MRI.
Also, on March 15th, this Thursday a year ago, Jimmy said something to me that I will never forget no matter day it was. As we waited in the doctor's office before his catscan with no reason yet to feel there was anything seriously wrong, he kept fooling around saying, "Sayonara. See ya. Nice to know ya."
Then, he stopped smiling, became thoughtful for a moment, and like it just occurred to him he said,
"Wow. What a life changer for you. It will be an adventure."