Remembering my tomorrows

It starts at the moment of birth–a date on the calendar is claimed as your own, and year after year the anniversary of that date holds a particular significance for you. As time goes by, you collect other anniversaries. First date. Graduation. Wedding. The death of a loved one. Some anniversaries you share with other, but others are more personal.

Tomorrow is one of my personal anniversaries. Fifteen years ago I started feeling sick. What seemed at first like a bad flu turned out to be the start of a downward spiral that would have provided enough medical drama for a whole season of House M.D.

Turns out, sometimes it is Lupus. Or at least some sort of mysterious and difficult to diagnose autoimmune condition that behaves like Lupus.

June 11th is the first of a whole cycle of anniversaries that I walk through every year in memory of my own personal journey to the underworld and back– from the day my kidneys failed and I was moved to Intensive Care, to the day I came home, to the day I finally set foot back at the office.

There are lots of reasons one might want to forget such events. It would be easy to view these anniversaries as a morbid re-playing of the worst experience of my life. But that’s not why I relive these moments.

These anniversaries matter to me. Perhaps my Anglican upbringing instilled in me a keen sense of yearly rituals of remembrance. These anniversaries form my own personal liturgical cycle. Marking these dates represents both a physical and a spiritual reminder that every day is a gift– that I am here today, but very nearly wasn’t– that it is possible to leave the office one afternoon and drop off the face of the earth for months– that life must be lived in the present, because anything can happen.

These anniversaries matter because they are not just about remembering a nasty past. They are about all the tomorrows I can never take for granted.



19 thoughts on “Remembering my tomorrows

  1. As a disclaimer: I have never been sick in my life. (In spite of having lived a sort of reckless kind of life: I smoked, I drink, I curse, I work in dangerous desolate war-zone places) So, I am not worthy to really comment on your post.
    But, having said all that, I have seen great suffering on three or four or five continents. I was powerless to alleviate this suffering. (I always told myself).
    Yet, I saw great courage, and it moved me.
    As does this post.
    (I hope I am making sense here)
    I am no ‘Faith-Based’ Person, but I admire faith, because mainly, I suppose it is a mystery to me, and I do love a mystery.
    (Please, Please do not take that the wrong way)
    I enjoy reading your posts.
    They hit home on several fronts.

    Stay Strong, and Have Peace.
    I wish this for you,

  2. Remembering is always a good thing.. It’s reminds us all that in a minute life can change and to live in the moment. To appreciate the simple things.

    Life indeed is precious and I to love to read your posts and as previously said they hit home on so many fronts.
    Be strong and live well as I see you do

  3. alienorajt

    Delighted that you are still with us, Anna – and sorry to hear about this horrible, scary and painful time in your life. xxx

  4. TP Hogan

    Those last two lines really hit hard. I admire your ability to put such profound expressions into such simple words.

  5. Gloria

    Beautiful post. I have met many people who are always looking at the future. I know that ‘life turns on a dime’, and while it’s good to plan for the future, depending on it being the way you think it will be can be devastating when it’s not.

  6. I loved this post — and, a fellow Anglican — appreciated your link to the liturgical cycle. We need ritual and memory and ways to celebrate important moments. I’m glad you’re healthy and so appreciate it. Many people take their health and strength for granted, which is silly and selfish. We can, and do, lose it in an instant.

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