I started writing/keeping a journal when I was 12 years old. Through my college years, I would write almost daily. I think it helped me work through things on my own without seeming like those much reviled psycho-chicks I've written about over the years. My writing started tapering off about a decade ago but dropped abruptly to almost none when I moved back to my hometown at the start of 2012. As a part of my treatment, my therapist has encouraged me to start writing again and to go back and read old writing when I feel I can.
I'm not sure if keeping a journal is partially responsible for this, but I have an uncanny knack for remembering names and dates. This is especially helpful for things like history tests or 12 nieces and nephews' birthdays. It can be helpful for remembering significant events or it can make me seem like a fount of useless information. Currently, it's an arrow to my heart as February brings a few memories that are stirring lots of emotions. Some are good, some are sad but they all make me determined to remain on my current path.
February 4th will be 2 years since my Poppy left this world. He was my first love, my anchor, my biggest fan and the best provider for his family and the hole left by his absence is huge. I will get past this day and will likely shed a few tears but I have nothing but wonderful memories to comfort me and remind me that my life goes on.
The next thing that February brings is an avalanche of memories with Pepe. Although I have written about him before, I rarely write about any specific details or memories because I like to keep that all to myself. I'm making an exception now because of several things which have him at the forefront of my thoughts lately. Unfortunately, he was on the receiving end of some of my worst panic attacks before I knew about my ASD (acute stress disorder). We've been friends for almost 17 years and I've always been neurotic and insecure about lags in communication with him. For nearly 2 decades he has patiently and kindly reassured me and I have bridged the gaps of flakiness because that's the yin and yang of our friendship. My preoccupation with my jacked up emotions has severely disrupted the balance we've always had and I feel I haven't been there for a friend when he has needed one most.
Most of the February memories with Pepe are from 16 years ago.....still within the first year of our association. After 10 months of unemployment and countless resumes having been sent, he had a series of interviews that finally resulted in a job offer on Feb 7th or 8th of 2002. We were supposed to go to dinner to celebrate but we ended up staying in and watching the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. The night was significant in many ways and I remember it each February without any fanfare but this year, as he is so heavily on my mind and it is also a winter Olympic year, it seems those memories from 16 years ago are on repeat in my mind. I doubt he remembers the date specifics, but I know he remembers the events. I hope the memories are as good for him as they are for me.
The last Pepe memory that February brings is from 2009. The 13th was on a Friday and everyone knows how much I love Friday the 13th. I was sitting at the Red Rooster with my friend, Amy, and it was just before midnight and he sent me a text that just said, "Happy Valentine's Day". This isn't significant because of the message, but just the sentiment. In all the years I've known him, he has never said (either verbally or written) so much as a happy birthday, a merry Christmas, happy St Pat's, etc....to me. Nothing. Except that one Friday the 13th in 2009. It wasn't meant as a gesture of love because that's not how he and I are, but it is a memory that I love all the same.
February will be bittersweet but I'm so very thankful it is full of memories of 2 men (My Poppy and Pepe) who are so similar in their demeanor and personality and not memories of silly, insignificant people who have made guest appearances throughout the Februarys of my life.