The Heart Knows

Sometimes my heart knows what my head has yet to wrap itself around. For the past couple of weeks there’s been a kind of restless static buzzing in the back of my mind. It’s been gradually getting louder and louder, making its way to the foreground, demanding to be named.

What a week ago I would have labeled a sort of benign distraction, today can only be called dread. It’s been taking shape when my back was turned–setting up a home for itself deep in my belly .

This seems to happen every year toward the end of July, and every year it continues to surprise me. My heart is definitely more skilled at tracking the passage of time than my head is. And so it mercifully tries to prepare me, sending up clues, hoping this year I might pay attention. It seems it’s been patiently waiting for me to turn the calendar page and realize it is August once again.

August. Of course.

And so Ellie and I will plan how to take care of ourselves around yet one more anniversary of Steve’s disappearance and death. In some ways, it gets easier. Memories are not so vivid, and more immediate experiences compete for our attention, filling in the days, months, and years since we lost him.

If I had my choice, time would bleach out the garish colors of shock and trauma, while leaving our memories of Steve bright and alive. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way it works. Now, four years later, all of it feels so muted.

So we will bring back what we can of him by looking at photos, telling our best stories, and once again opening the doors of our hearts–hoping he will join us there.