I have a ridiculously weird memory. I can remember all sorts of things in very great detail and generally lacking even a nodding acquaintanceship with useful information.
You need names and dates and locations of people involved in something that happened 1 or 5 or 20 or 100 or 1000 years ago? Give me a couple context cues and a few minutes and I can pull it out of the vault.
I can remember every grant name, accounting number, title, and budget that’s come through my administrative hands over the last seven years.
I know what day that meeting was on and who was there, even if that meeting was three jobs (and 11 years) ago.
Things I am TERRIBLE at remembering are the things that are actually useful (unless we’re gauging useful by ‘winning pub trivia,’ then my ability to call up random facts is really helpful). Things like what face goes with what name. (I was in a meeting today with a woman who looked vaguely familiar. I watched her surreptitiously for a while, trying to place her. Even after I heard her name, I couldn’t figure it out. Finally, one hour in I realized that I’d actually interviewed her. On Monday of this very week.) And when people with whom I’m currently actively associated with have important dates. You want to know when all my college friends have birthdays? I’m your girl. You want to know when my (hypothetically speaking) nieces’ birthdays are? March *mumble* and May *mumble*.
Where am I going with this, you might ask?
Yesterday was the third anniversary of my father’s death and it didn’t even register until someone I know mentioned on facebook that today was the anniversary of her mother’s death.
I didn’t think of it once yesterday.
I’d thought of it several times in the last month. His death and Bean’s birth are inextricably tied up in my brain so this time of year triggers that memory. But yesterday? Nothing.
My first feeling on realizing this was one of relief. The pain has dulled enough that it’s not always in the forefront of my brain. The second feeling? Guilt. For forgetting and then being relieved that I’d forgotten.
He’s always present – just not as much as he used to be.
I still miss him, though, and always will. I’m just less angry/sad/bewildered by the hole he left behind.
And I guess that’s okay.