One month from today, I turn twenty-five.
Twenty-five feels like a big year, y'know? It also feels like a freight-train of nostalgia and I'm strapped to the tracks, powerless to stop it. Everywhere I go, I am bombarded with memories. It started the day of my mom's surgery, with my dad on a constant loop. From there, it has spiraled off into smaller rivers and even more complex tributaries.
My grandma. She has been on my mind a lot lately. Since my mom told me not to drink all of her favorite apple wine before we left after her surgery, her memory has popped into a lot of my quiet moments. Last night in the shower, I was thinking about the special bond she had with my dad. Even after my parents divorced, they remained close with one another.
My dad stayed by my side through her entire service at the church she attended her entire life. The church I was baptized in. The same aisle my mom walked down with her Uncle Bob by her side to give her away to my dad at their wedding. I made my first communion at the front of the same church in a big fancy ceremony 3 years later. It only seemed fitting, at the very end, for my dad's journey to end the same way: at the front of the very same church, and buried as close to grandma as I could get at the cemetery.
In t-minus one month, I will be the same age my mom was when she met my dad at a racetrack, one August night in 1988. My dad remembered her number because the last four digits were the same as his tire size on his stock car. My dad, the romantic.
That feels like it carries weight somehow. It feels like magic, knowing you're going to be the same age as your mom was when they met and fell in love with your dad. Because of their love, you exist—regardless of the later outcome. You exist because of those butterflies and nervous, new relationship feelings.
Twenty-five has me feeling all sorts of circle of life feelings. Losing my dad and my grandma at this point in my life also plays a huge part in that too. Feeling the true depth of their loss has made me appreciate every time I see another pregnancy announcement on my Facebook feed. Or engagement post. Or wedding photos. (I'm a sucker for wedding photos.) I love seeing the celebration, of a new milestone, a new chapter, a new life. It reminds me that maybe there is good left in the world on the days where all I can focus on is all the suffering and the brokenness.
Twenty-four, we have one more month together. Let's feel these growing pains and then dance it out. Twenty-five is coming whether we are ready or not.