Cycles and Stories

This story brought to you courtesy the idiot hunter-gatherer’s who wanted to know when herds would be migrating or the Shamans who either lusted for power and wanted to appear to predict when certain events would occur or truly just wanted to better understand the universe and use said knowledge to help their fellow man

Whatever the case, someone, somewhere, invented the calendar and it’s all been downhill since…

Sometimes,  the natural cycles of the Universal rotation and our forefathers’  ingenious ways of keeping us organized and controlled (clocks and calendars…and expectations of punctuality) converge to ensure I not only have a crappy day – but that I also spend all day arguing with myself about why or why not to obsess over the obvious patterns and  what those patterns may or may not mean…

About 2 weeks ago, I was going along, minding my own business, looking forward to the conference I had received a scholarship to – said conference was on Friday, May 23rd –

A week prior to the conference, something kept nagging at me – a little niggle I was forgetting something – –

I checked my Desk Calendar, my purse organizer and email calendars –

(yes, I took the Franklin Covey course and learned the 1st rule of keeping only one calendar – it didn’t stick)

As the week progressed, the quiet whisper became louder by increments, until it was nearly shouting at me that I was, in fact, forgetting something – and it just had to be huge – I rechecked my accounting software and bill pay – logged in to make sure all the websites I host are duly backed-up and no domains are due for renewal…

Everything is as it should be….

But the voice was not satisfied – next, I frantically cleaned my desk and read every sticky note there, checked the ones stuck to the wall behind my monitor and even went so far as to check my trash can, for the elusive neon orange note that would tell me what else I had scheduled for Friday, May 23rd that I had somehow forgotten – –

No luck.

Being the crazed woman I am, I called all the friends and neighbors I do chores for when they’re off having fun and I’m stuck home because of work and/or am too broke to go on vacation – – Brought them along my path of insanity while I grilled them,

“You’re sure you didn’t need me on Friday?   Maybe you thought you’d be gone Friday, but then changed your schedule and forgot to tell me?”

No, No, they assure me – you’re fine – you haven’t forgotten anything…

In desperation, I begged the Universe for help in remembering what I had forgotten that I’m supposed to do on May 23rd  –


My inner-historian –

who looks rather like the stereotypical librarian of 1940’s fame, complete with tweed skirt, constrictive jacket, wire-rimmed glasses over pointy nose and thin, gray hair tied so tightly up in a bun, the bags under her eyes become wrinkles at the side of her eyebrows – – (No, she is not sexy librarian of pop-culture fame) –

came to my rescue.

“Shh!  Quit fussing and making noise.   You didn’t forget anything – Morgan graduates on the 23rd.  You have to be done at the job you gave notice at in February by Friday morning, at the latest – you just need to be firm and let them know you’ve stretched your month’s notice way, way too far.”

Gulp – she’s right – I hurriedly bring up my computer calendar and scroll back to May 23rd 2008 – sure enough, it was a Friday…

And suddenly, healing and time go by the wayside and here I sit- reliving May, six years ago –

Friday – 23rd – he graduates and is home by midnight though I stretched his curfew to 2am,  because he’s tired and stuffy from allergies – I tell him how proud I am of him graduating when I know he really just wanted to be done, two years ago! with the institution he believed, “brainwashes you into loving cubicle 9-5 world” –

Friday the 30th, when we went to the doctor because seasonal allergies seemed to have morphed into a cold, virus or sinus infection…

And Saturday the 31st, when his fever broke and he was feeling better…

Sunday, the 1st, when he was once again so miserable and fighting me about going to the ER…

Monday, the 2nd, when he came home from the doctors, pain free after getting a shot and ready to rest, as the doctor said he should – laid down and quit breathing 2 short hours later – – The sirens, the wild ambulance ride – the quarantined ICU room – with friends and family decked out in blue near-hazmat suits, because no one knows what, exactly, is going on –

Which brings us to Tuesday, June 3rd – when the specialists still know nothing about the why, only that he will never be off life support or breathe on his own again…

The calendar, one of man’s greatest inventions, has become my enemy this year –


Why do I tell you this?   To remind myself and you that as we heal there are still lurking neurons and cellular memories that remind us we’re forgetting – – or burying — or there’s something left to be brought to the light and healed – –

It really is dealer’s choice – – it’s your inner world and you can durn well tell whatever story you wish about it!

To point out we can feel appalled to find we are starting to forget – to acknowledge the quiet whisper that says forgetting diminishes our loved one – a review of the the fine line between remembering without pain, forgetting through repression and revisiting memories because we finally can do so without disintegrating –

– the moments that come along in bits and pieces when we are surprised by the little imp of memory/grief that  jumps from hiding in the bushes and bites us soundly in the arse –

I tell you because I’ve spent days thinking about how a silly alignment of the calendar days/dates – that will undoubtedly occur again and again in the future – set me down the path of making up stories that are on par with those concocted by the Pyramidiots – stories that try to make sense of just why my inner world was so insistent I pay attention to the exact eeriness of this year’s calendar – stories made up to explain, understand, give higher meaning to events or just comfort myself -all swirling around my inner sanctum:

“Hmm – interesting – – My sons were born 8 years and 3 days apart – Nathan will graduate 8 years after Morgan died – that must, simply must, mean something – why is there never a numerologist around when you need one?”

“My back hurts – is it because I’m trying to hold on to memories I should let go, or is the heat lamp therapy tearing down brick-by-brick the huge walls I’ve built in my system?   Am I unwinding the ball of ill health or simply adding more imbalance to that which already exists?”

“Think I’ll map out how many more times I’ll endure Friday May 23rd  – 3 times?  6?   If I eat healthy, exercise, meditate and journal, will it make those years easier to handle or just ensure I must travel through more of these cycles?   Wouldn’t it make more sense to sit on my couch watching reality TV while eating Cheetos, guzzling beer and chain-smoking?  Why keep the torture alive for decades on end?”

“Which is better?  A. Map out every year May 23rd falls on a Friday – so I can be prepared and take reasonable preventative action or B. Try to forget that May 23rd means anything – surely after all the tapping, journaling, meditation I’ve done, I should be able to think of this without going loopy – what’s wrong with me?”

“Nothing – you just haven’t completely healed yet – quit fighting it and hang on – soon, it will be July and it will all be better – you know you always have an awesome July!”

“If Morgan were here, he’d tell you Drama class is over – – “


Did I ever tell you the first 3 years after he died I had to look at the calendar to remember if he died on the 3rd or the 4th?   Because he was ill, because I couldn’t or wouldn’t sleep, at home or in the hospital – because I took a nap during the day to avoid all the friends and family I didn’t have answers for and stayed awake at night when there was no one who needed me to make a decision or give them comfort – I lost track of the days – – I tasked others with reminding when I had to be somewhere –

Maybe this year’s angst is all payback for shunning the gift of forgetting that Mother Nature gave me at the time – did I bless her and thank her?

Nope, I dutifully double-checked the calendar in subsequent years to see what date Tuesday fell on that spring – until finally, June 3rd was burned on my brain and I was no longer being gently (or irritatingly) corrected by family members because I mis-remembered what date it was…those who couldn’t stand the pain of me asking, “Was it the 3rd or 4th?  What date was that Tuesday?”


There are stories and games we play with ourselves as we navigate the world – some are inherited – some we make up –

Some serve us – Some confound us – Some merely keep us entertained until such time as we create a new one –

Life may be hard at times and fragile at others, but always, we have the gift of stories to navigate whatever comes our way.




16 thoughts on “Cycles and Stories”

  1. Oh My, your story touched me deeply Tamrah… I think our inner clock forever ticks along, You have been through so much and come out smiling in your determination to overcome your own health problems as you share your light with us all…
    Our bodies often reflect how our emotions are.. I had back ache a few weeks ago which showed me how I was feeling unsupported in my working environment.. Once I saw how my thinking was going, the back problem went too..

    It takes courage to share our personal journeys, I so thank you for allowing us to share in yours xox
    Love and Hugs Sue ..


    1. Thank you for such kind words – I often hesitate to push the “Publish” button when these works come to the surface – but I remember how much another’s shared journey gave me hope and reminded me I’m not alone and hope that by sharing my journey, I may somehow pass that hope for a better future, or comfort for a rocky today on to someone else who feels alone in their journey – –

      I had severe back/neck pain for the 4 months prior to my stroke, so I try to be really, really proactive whenever it shows up! Acupuncturist at the time said it wasn’t because of blood clotting wrong that caused my stroke, but rather, that my circulation was too sluggish – so I made up the story, “If I clear this stuff out of my blood vessels by placing it on my blog, that should clear the freeways, right?” LOL
      Thanks, as always for your words of wisdom and kindness – you always make me feel better!


  2. All of the complexity and tragedy that life throws at us and yet we stand. A little unsteadily sometimes, for sure, but still…
    Sometimes I wonder about that word, “heal.” is it a final place, a destination that we can reach or is it an ideal that we can pursue to the extent we can?
    No matter. Love will always remain, as you have just so beautifully shown.


    1. When I worked at the acupuncture clinic, I learned that in the Chinese language, there is no equivalent of ‘cure’ –
      There is only ‘in balance’ or ‘out of balance’
      So, maybe, those are good options to replace heal with! 🙂
      Was slightly off balance here lately, but think I’ve finally gotten my mind wrapped around the latest angst and ready to push forward! LOL


  3. Wonderful post in its sadness and struggles.

    One of my best friends in college died in March ’97 a couple years after he graduated med-school and was living his dream. Really shattered me and the guys that look up to him (a guy we all dreamed of emulating since the day we met him). And every March 3rd we remember him by dedicating to him one thing each individually we will achieve this year so we remember to make life happen as Ray did. Through this we healed, gained compassion and learned more about life. However, it is never easy when this day arrives… Take care.


    1. I remember a portion of one of the Clan of the Cave Bear book series by Jean M. Auel – which spoke about the need for a ceremony to ‘recapture’ the pieces of spirit of the clan held by the medicine woman, whenever the medicine woman died – that if the ceremony didn’t take place, the pieces of spirit went with the medicine woman’s spirit to the other realm and weren’t retrievable by the clan – –
      Guess, in our own way, we lose a piece of ourselves when a loved one dies – but through our own actions, such as you and your friends do – we manage to keep a piece of the spirit of our loved one traveling the earth and living on – –
      Definitely a great way of looking at it all! 🙂 And thoughts with you every March 3rd – xoxoxo


    1. I know you know – you’ve had your own struggles between being the best you, you can imagine, and “why do I have to do this?” It will get better for us – I’m sure – or it won’t and we’ll get to be done – LOL


      1. I know – it will end or it will keep going or it will get better. I’ll vote for getting better. Take good care of you.


  4. If I could double or triple the “Like” on this, I would. I do think remembering is good, if not mentally healthy – to a point. It’s been 37 yrs since Danny, simply a friend and neighbor died as a result of a motorcycle spill (and other complications,) but on April 22 of every year, I remember! MV


    1. Yes – our greatest gift and greatest grief is our memory – I try to walk the line between gift/grief and go forth in search of a meaningful reason for my existence – some days, that only reason is, “I gave someone permission to grieve, in their own way, today”

      May Danny and Morgan meet up in Heaven’s local watering hole – may they visit about how wonderful it is to be remembered and come with ideas of how to help us through 04/22 amd 06/03 – I assure you, if this story is correct, Dad is at the local watering hole (04/17 and birth day of 11/22 – see the story? LOL) , as well – sharing why there is nothing new under the sun and why none of us should worry or be down –

      “Keep your chin up – those gravels get rough” was his favorite go-to and I think of it as I navigate this day!

      Much love and xoxox to you as you navigate your own memories – – It’s the only thing left for me to offer – the possibility to encourage another as they navigate this wondrous and sometimes, sucky, road – 🙂

      In the end, the greatest gift may be our compassion for each other as we traverse our own heartaches – – and for me, it is enough! Thank You! 🙂


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