Anniversaries are often times of marking and celebrating…wedding anniversaries are a time to remember and celebrate the union of husband and wife. Often on those times, there is a special marking of the day, sometimes watching the wedding video, flipping through the photo album, or going out for dinner and remembering the day and the highlights since. Other anniversaries are fun too–remembering the opening of a business, or celebrating the day you moved into this house that has now become such a home, or the day someone special came to live with you.
Anniversaries can become points of pain, though.
- A wedding anniversary is incredibly bittersweet when the spouse has died, and the special day is marked alone, remembering all that once was, and all that now isn’t.
- Or the delight of a long ago new start—the excitement of something new and life-giving now is remembered with bitterness and cynicism with the failure of the new venture.
- Remembering the day of hope of a life spent together well into old age through the modern day lens of betrayal and abandonment, makes it painful to remember the wedding day after the divorce papers arrive.
Anniversaries aren’t always the joy filled delightful experiences when what started with optimism and anticipation is, for one reason or another, not that way. And yet, the filter of loss, if we’re blessed, doesn’t squeeze out the hope of the day long ago. The memory of the joy of the original day doesn’t have to be poisoned or tainted by the loss.
I refuse to lose the idealism I had as I celebrate these bittersweet anniversaries of my life. I will choose to remember the sparkle and the energy of the first day, the excitement (and niavete!) at the start, and the resulting life adventure that followed. Grieving the loss of something big doesn’t have to destroy the anniversary.
Not if we choose not to let it. (But that doesn’t mean there aren’t tears, eh?)
What do you choose?