January Anniversaries

Funny old thing anniversaries aren’t they?

Some are significantly wonderful, others are incredibly sad and all of them reminds us of the passing of time.  Life just seems to be flashing by so fast doesn’t it.mark-calendar

So I guess the first significant date was the 1st January 2013.  It was only over Christmas, whilst thinking about a few other anniversaries, I realised that this was a pretty significant date.  I doubt my father or my sister realise it and I’m not going to remind them, seems a bit pointless really, they know the date, the number of years less important.  On the evening of the 1st of January 1983 my brother “accidentally” took his own life, in our house.  He was 15 at the time and my parents had refused to allow him to go to another party as he had attended one the night before.  He got flustered in his angry explanation and we had all laughed at him from the dinner table. He stormed off.  During the evening whilst my sister and I watched the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (a program I can’t watch anymore) he asked to go to the shed for a screwdriver and whilst there he made a choice that cost him his life.  He chose a particular bug poison in my dad’s pesticide cabinet that we found out years later, increased in toxicity the longer it was on the shelf. It was 10 years old. He took barely a sip, just enough to teach my parents a lesson I guess.  By the time he got inside he was already vomiting. His body started shutting down within 20 minutes. The ambulance took over an hour to come because we were semi-rural and they got lost.  My grandparents arrived before the ambulance did and my grandfather and dad carried out mouth to mouth resuscitation to keep him alive.  He was hospitalised but a few days later it was confirmed that he would not survive.  It’s been 30 years.  I was 10 years old and whilst I had and have no strong connection to my brother the events of that night still haunt me.  A thousand what ifs. I guess this is the big anniversary I’d rather not dwell on as it completely changed all of our lives forever.  My mother was never the same again and my brother was NEVER spoken of in the house again.  Everything you shouldn’t do, my parents did.  I didn’t even get to go to the funeral.  I still expect him to turn up one day, having skipped off to live another life somewhere.  I went to a different high school, met different people and my life path changed. Without this event I wouldn’t be living in London or married to my husband.  A very strange anniversary.

January 7th – 15 years since my mother’s funeral.  I think she died a about 5 days earlier, but for some reason this date was the one I remembered.  I flew back to Australia on the 1st January to see her as her brain tumour had returned. She was in a much worse state than I thought she’d be. Each day she declined massively until she went into a coma. I had only managed to get 2 weeks off from drama school and in typical Mum fashion, she timed everything so I’d be able to say my goodbye.  It was 40 degrees on the day of her funeral.  The sky was cornflower blue.  Not a great anniversary, but a significant one.

11th January – 7 years since my dad had his stroke.  He’s alive, at home, being cared for by his wife in Essex, but he hasn’t got a great quality of life.  However, had he died on that day he would have missed out on seeing his youngest daughter marry and 4 grandchildren, so I imagine he thinks it’s well worth it.  He’s still going strong.  Not a big anniversary but worth remembering.

So, January isn’t such a great month for my family, but life has a funny way of changing things.  January IS a wonderful month because on the 20th January 5 years ago my longed for daughter who was conceived via IVF was born. This has made January a very important, happy month in my house.  My son was due on 5th January 2 years ago (although he opted to arrive on the rubbish date of Christmas Eve!)  So for me, January is a wonderful month despite these horrendous reminders of past sadness.

And when we are done with January……….I get to celebrate 10 years of marriage in August.  I’m so impressed that Hubby and I have managed to weather the storm through some quite tumultuous times to get here. I wouldn’t be without him and a fact I need to remind myself of sometimes when I’m grimacing about his lack of washing up skills.

So for all the BIG anniversaries that aren’t so good, there will always be those that are amazing and remind us of what is really in important in life.

Do you have a month of significant anniversaries?  Is there a time of year that throws them up, good and bad?


About freefallinginto40

I am 40 years old. I blog about how I'm coping with my "new" age at www.freefallinginto.com . I'm a married mother to two after years of infertility. I have a 6 year old called Pickle and a 3 year old called The Monster. I work 4 days a week. We are also planning a move to the country! I blog about that at www.ourmovetothecountry.wordpress.com
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23 Responses to January Anniversaries

  1. Made me cry but a beautiful post, so very sad, sending a huge hug, and I’m very glad January also brought you so much happiness also in the form your longed for daughter. I hope you and your husband have a lovely day celebrating her birthday with her. Much love xxx

  2. hattydaze says:

    January hug from another 40 year old x

  3. Sarah says:

    This post left me sobbing as January 3rd and 17th are when we lost my 2 year old niece and my Mum. Every year we dread the start of January but then we all draw strength from each other and start February with renewed vigour, so with a big hug from me to you look forward to your daughters birthday and celebrate with laughter and fun xx

  4. Mammasaurus says:

    Oh my. I must admit when I saw the title I imagined a post about a wedding anniversary and the first couple of paragraphs I had to re-read over again as I was just so stunned. I’m so sorry to read about your brother and your mothers passings, time does heal things but there’s always a gap in life where loved ones who are no longer with us should be.

    Conversely how lovely that you also have happy anniversaries the same month. My late nan always used to say that ‘When one person leaves your life there’ll one day be a connection to another person being born into it’, something I too believe x

  5. Such a heartfelt post my thoughts go out to you this month. I remember sad anniversarys which I won’t go into, about 5 in a year. I’ve made myself look for a positive anniversary to celebrate each month. I think there’s only May and November I have nothing to celebrate. Xx

  6. just the biggest hugs. x

  7. TheBoyandMe says:

    Oh my! Dear God you’ve had a rough time of it but I’m so pleased that you’ve also got some wonderful and so special memories for January.

  8. Gosh I didn’t expect this either – caught you earlier on Twitter and was drawn to this post, more than usual. So sorry to see that about your brother and your mum and dad – it still sounds so raw. It must be so gladdening to have your daughter’s Birthday to drag you through those dates and Congratulations on your wonderful marriage and beautiful children. I hope your 2013 is happy. 🙂

  9. pinkoddy says:

    So sorry to hear of your losses. The big anniversaries do hit hard don’t they.

    I didn’t realise that about the stuff your brother drank, so tragic.

    We seem to have a lot in common.
    My brother was 6 when he died – April 1st. And he wasn’t spoken of either.
    My mom only 49 when she died.
    January is both my late nan’s birthdays.
    And yay I’ve been married 10 years this year too.

    • Oh gosh. Well I’m pleased about some of those similarities but not the others. Sorry to hear of your losses. The poison thing was just so sad. Had baffled the investigators, but a news report 5 yrs later where a vet was accused of killing dogs he washed with flea treatment. Had same chemical in it and was years and years old. My dad made the connection.

  10. Sarah Miles says:

    Such a moving post.

    Anniversaries do tend to muddle together I think. My dad died on 1 Feb, my 3rd child was born on 3rd (not the same year).

    My nan died on my birthday.

    This year my husband and I both turn 40 and it is our 10th wedding anniversary in August too! On the 30th.


  11. LizG says:

    There is a week in July that is my January…. It starts with 16th, the day my mother died from pancreatic cancer almost 2 years ago whilst I was 8 months pregnant with my 3 rd child. This date is clisely followed by 19th which will be my Grandmother’s 91st birthday this year with my daughter’s birthday on 20th. My uncle died on 21st (days after my mother in the same year) and to round the week off we have the 23rd – my mother’s birthday. Then last year, to expand my rollercoaster July, my sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer, 6 months after giving birth to her only child. I find I have to focus on the good… It gets you through the bad. Thinking of you. X

  12. Pingback: The Joy Jar | Free Falling into 40

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