Today is Mother's Day. Something that I guess I have been avoiding without realizing I am avoiding it. I had tried to make some plans with a friend for this afternoon, and was gently reminded of the date. I have put up a mental block around it, the same way I put up a firewall around Valentine's Day. Without realizing it I have built walls around a lot of things in my life and it is taking a conscious effort to get out from behind them.
The day that is going to sneak up on me will be Father's Day. Father's Day last year was the last road trip Melly and I made together. It wasn't much. We went to Flagstaff for the day to see my parents. On the way north we passed what turned out to be a horrible accident on I-17 South. A large tow truck pulling a broken down semi and trailer had lost its breaks headed down a hill and had plowed through several cars before coming to a rest. Ultimately a family lost a child that day. On the way home, as Melly and I sat in the long delay to get around the accident we talked about how that family would never again have a good Father's Day. How that arbitrary date on the calendar would no longer be arbitrary. In that same way it will never be the same for me because I will forever be reminded of that conversation, and of the terrible days to come.
There have been too many changes in my life over the past year to count. One of the most fundamental is the amount of effort I try to put into being present at each moment, versus getting lost in something temporary. For this reason I will spend this Mother's Day with my sister, her husband Chad, and my 18 month old niece. We will go to a baseball game and then spend sometime together with a few of my friends for a nice dinner. It may not be what I had pictured for Mother's Day at this time last year, but nothing I had pictured for the future is even remotely what I expected. Rather than spend all of my time chasing what is gone I choose instead to be right here, right now, surrounded by the people I love. It will be a happy day, one to remember.