Six Years Past

I realised the other day, when thinking about the date and the day, that I can remember the last time December the 10th was a Saturday, the 12th a Monday and the 14th a Wednesday, etc, etc.

The days of a month should repeat every 6 years, possibly fewer if two leap years fall into the period. 2011 has followed the same days as 2005 did. How do I know this? Simply because it was six years ago that my then-boyfriend had a birthday on a Friday, my last day in a job that had driven me insane but I do now miss, that I started a new job on the following Tuesday, the day after one of my friend’s father’s died. I honestly can’t believe it was 6 whole years ago.

I’m not sure why the memories are so much stronger this year when most people remember dates and therefore remember them every year, but I don’t usually remember that my friend’s father died a few days after my now-husband’s birthday. Perhaps it is because I was walking to work thinking about his birthday this year and wondering when it last happened on a Friday. It was also possibly triggered by a random sailor who cycled past me in his little hat and pristine uniform, reminding me of how I used to love seeing the then-boyfriend in his uniform. Okay, seeing anyone in military uniform.

A flood of memories came back to me: Trying to do a day’s worth of work when my boss had no intention of letting me stay past 10, having the commanding officer talk a Marine Colonel into carrying me from my office in some grand “Officer and a Gentleman” routine with me mortified that everyone was watching, including my then-boyfriend. Oh, and then I had to walk back into the room, red as a tomatoe. For some reason, despite the number of times I saw my now-husband in his uniform (we worked together for a year so I saw him every freaking working day), that day sticks in my mind and I can see him clearly in his uniform more so than any other point. Perhaps because it was his birthday. Perhaps because he was on leave, but to enter the office building he had to be in uniform and he did so just for me.

I remember leaving work and then spending the rest of the day with him, unsure of how long I could keep my work-pass which my boss should have taken, but then I would have had to be signed in to visit the boyfriend. It wouldn’t have been a problem, it just would have meant more walking!

I can remember cancelling a call late at night a few days later as my new job started the next day. Little did I know until I read the text the next morning that a friend’s father had died moments before her call to me. I spent a large portion of the next day feeling awful and having no one to talk to as I was on day one. Does my friend realise that this year, the anniversary will be on the same day as the original? Whether normal or not, I barely remember the date my dad died, but I do know it was a Sunday.

Then I remember attempting to learn how to perform a pH test on soil (the simplest of tests we used to run) on my first day of work, and worrying about getting around to see my friend. There are no memories of seeing her, or getting to her house, but I can remember walking home from seeing her on… a day.

Looking back on those few days, I was starting a whole new chapter in my life — finally working in “science” and analytical science, too. I loved the two years I spent there and it gave me the skills to (so far) not have to go back to office work. I had to give up working closely with my then-boyfriend, I had to move away from home, I had to stop swooning at men in uniform and I could leave behind people that had made my working day horrible.

At pretty much the exact same time, my friend was starting a whole new chapter in her life — one without her father in it and one where, an increased closeness with her male friend led to a new relationship and and second son for my friend.

That week was the first time I’d celebrated the then-boyfriend’s birthday and it was when my friend’s Merry Christmases died.

How things change in just 6 years and how we can get to the brink of about to forget something and then it snaps back in.

~ Persephone M

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