One year. Fifty-two weeks. Anniversaries come around like that. They start with, "One week ago..." or "One month ago..." but eventually the weeks and months become a year, and we sit and wonder where the time went. How can it have been so long? How did it go by so quickly?
A year ago, life was going on as usual. Jim and I were newlyweds - just nine months into our marriage. We were happy, busy, doing things we'd always done. I had just returned from a trip South with my sister, visiting my niece and her family, doing some genealogical research, visiting my cousin, whom I hadn't seen for many years. Fun. Life. Living. Loving.
Oh, we were concerned about Jim's recent health issues. He'd had a trip to the ER while I was gone, and he'd just had an echocardiogram and spent 24 hours wearing a Holter monitor, but he felt pretty good and was doing his usual Jim stuff - taking care of the yard, the house, working crossword puzzles, anticipating his upcoming fishing trip to Alaska with his son.
I'd just visited my doctor, complaining of pain in my left leg. He'd ordered x-rays, given me an injection for sciatica, and told me my hips looked really good and would last me the rest of my life. I was looking forward to the next day's lunch plans with my son, so I could see his new offices.
See, life goes on, and we think it will go on forever. Even when we're old enough to know better. Even when our plans, our whole lives, have changed in the blink of an eye many times before. We put things on our calendars - Drew overnight with Gran; Jim's neurology appt.; Fort Stevens for clamming; Jim & Mike's Excellent Adventure; Rodeo weekend - and we think that means that those things will happen.
But in the blink of an eye, a perfectly healthy woman with hips that will last the rest of her life, can fall from the back of a truck and break one of those "perfect" hips. A man with so much to look forward to - a much-anticipated trip fishing with his son, enjoying the achievements of his grandchildren, traveling to far away places with his wife - can have a stroke, a series of strokes. Suddenly, the calendar reads, "Cancel Fort Stevens," "Cancel attorney," "Post-surgical follow-up," "Physical therapy."
"Care conference for Jim."
A year ago. Just a year ago. Or a lifetime ago. All depending on how you measure time.