Worse Than a Tuesday

Days like this are hard.

Days when the calendar tells us it’s time to celebrate, but our bodies or hearts or circumstances do not agree.
Days when the neighborhood fills with cars, out of which stream festively dressed relatives carrying covered dishes and foil wrapped lilies into the houses of our neighbors.
Days when social media is flooded with photos of children in hats, families at church, eggs being found, meals being shared.
Days when there are memories, stacked up like a cerebral photo album, of every day like this before,
of all the befores.
Before he was sick. Before she died. Before they got divorced. Before they moved away.

The way things used to be can be haunting on days like this.
These days can feel like a census, a yearly moment to check in, compare how things have changed in the last twelve months, take stock of where things currently are.
Losses that occurred in the last year become articulated on days like this, as you can’t help but think of Easters past, of who sat at the table then, but is missing now.
The census also acts as a state of the state, using this day as a marker of how things are going, an assessment we’d rather opt out of on years like this, years we’d rather forget entirely, but know that it is mandatory, so that for years to come, we will remember what was or was not happening on this day, in this year.

When our bodies or hearts or geography or weather don’t share our calendars and
therefore fail to realize that days like this
are meant to be celebrated
and instead ground us in our homes, in hospitals, in bed, in airports, in our own minds,
it is nearly impossible to not think of all the things we typically do on
days like this:
the hymns we sing, the “Alleluias” we exclaim, the places we go, the outfits we wear, the meals we eat, the people with whom we celebrate.
Everything that does or does not happen
on this day,
in this year,
is compared to that list,
held up next to the “but we usually…”s,
made to feel inferior and lacking when the lists don’t match.

It is much easier to be hospitalized, homebound, grieving, depressed
on a Tuesday
than on days like this.
For Tuesdays are not filled with expectations.
They are not photo worthy.
There are no hashtags.
No one will ask, “How was your Tuesday? What did you do?”
ready to share their own great story once they’ve heard every detail of yours.
In your cerebral photo album, there is no page saved, designated, waiting to memorialize what happened on a Tuesday,
no empty spot in which to write:
where you were, who you were with, what church you attended, what meal you ate, what dress you wore, what the weather was like.
The next time Tuesday rolls around, you won’t automatically think about the last Tuesday, and how rotten it was, what sad shape you were in.
There is no “but we usually…” related to Tuesday.

If today you, like me, are not able to take part in your “but we usually”s,
if you are feeling haunted on this day by all that has happened in the last twelve months,
if you hate that when you look back at Easter 2019, it is your current state you will remember,
know this:

I am right here with you
and
Tuesday is right around the corner.