Sunday, April 1, 2012

and then it was April.

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T. S. Eliot began his famous poem, “The Waste Land,” with the line “April is the cruelest month” - and for most of my life, I had no reason to believe him. But five years ago, everything changed. And I’ve been thinking that exact same line ever since.

April is the hardest month of the year for me - and if I’m not careful, it sneaks up on me without warning, bringing all of its emotions and memories with it. It catches me off guard, knocks me off balance, and jostles me until I almost fall over. I have to be prepared for April.

Five years ago, in April, I was locked in a classroom while the worst school shooting in American history took place on the campus that I called home. My life would never be the same.

One year ago, in April, my best friend’s mother unexpectedly passed away, changing her life forever, and mine, too, in a number of ways. It has been a hard year for my friend, and for me, as someone who cares about her.

This year, in April, my grandfather will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, after passing away last November. I’m sure that every year in April, I will also think of him.

This time of year always provides an unsettling juxtaposition for me. As spring rolls in and flowers are blooming and birds are singing, there is so much happiness and excitement about the changing seasons. However, there is also a sadness and a heaviness that I feel as I remember the things that have happened in the last few years. April brings some of the prettiest days of the year in Virginia, days where the sun is warm and bright, the grass and trees are green, flowers are vibrantly blooming, and it always seems that sometimes the most beautiful days bring back the sharpest memories.

This year, I’m going to try to write my way through April, and see how it helps. I don’t intend to become Susie Sadness or Debbie Downer, but I do want to be real - and really, April is rough. I used to be really good at finding the words to say how I felt or what I was thinking, so it’s time that I try that again. Whatever gets written over the next month or so will truly be a picture of who I am, and where I’ve been. I'm prepared for plenty of good things to happen in April, too - and that will be documented, as well.

April arrives, every year, whether I like it or not. Time just keeps turning. And life goes on.

1 comment :

Caitlin said...

April can definitely be bittersweet... my heart sunk when I read this! Thinking of you--I think this April has a chance to be infinitely better than past ones :) xoxo Sad memories are okay to have though--only natural!