January 30th is a day I will never forget. No one in my family will, I'm sure. Every year the day looms. It starts sometime before Christmas. Every day becomes a battle to hold my shit together. I cry on the way to work at least once a week. I cry every time I ride my bike, which is pretty messy in January. I discovered last week that crying in the cold not only makes your eyelashes freeze together, but it also makes the skin by your eyes 100 times more susceptible to frostbite.
Every year I vow I won't be an emotional mess this time of year, but unfortunately I've learned that you don't get to control grief. You can live through it, you can be resilient as hell and smile when you need to, but you don't get to make the sadness go away. Does that mean I wallow in self pity for two months? No, but I've learned it's also better to just be genuine with my feelings. I could totally be wrong on this, but I'm pretty sure you can't bury one feeling without losing a little bit of them all and there are so many great ones I want to keep.
The same goes for memories. I have so many I want to keep so if sometimes they came with a little bit of sadness, I'll take it. Of course there are others, like the one of Mom being felt up by Goofy at breakfast, that can't possibly bring anything but laughter.
I'll take those too and hold on to them with everything I've got.