Fourteen years ago last night I was laying in a new bed, on my own as an adult in the wider world for the first time. Besides my worry and wonder about the coming school year was my nostalgia and longing for the previous Summer months when my Grandpa was still alive. He’d passed away only two weeks prior to my moving away from home to start university. I still remember staring at the semi-illuminated cindercrete wall past the foot of my bed, and wondering if I’d ever go a day without falling asleep thinking about missing my Grandpa, and how unfair death is.
I don’t remember when it was that I stopped thinking about his death at least once a day, but that’s the way how. You have to lose track. Not lose track of the person and the memories, but of the sense of loss, and not feel guilty about doing that.
In the fourteen years since then, I’ve met (and forgotten) scads of people. Some people who I met precisely 14 years ago are still my friends, and that was something I wouldn’t have expected then, and strive not to take for granted now.
Today I’ll probably meet a couple hundred people. Many of them are in the same spot I was in fourteen years ago — away from home for the first time, missing their family, and wondering what’s next. I love this time of year. Getting busy building a new life, a new reality, is a choice worth making.