You know about big days.

We all have had them and we remember them well, because they are BIG. We tend to remember big things.

Like the birth of a child, your wedding day, the day a loved one passed, the day those divorce papers were signed, etc. Oh and all the firsts! The first day at a new job, the first day of school, first time you had sex, etc. These big days become the black marker lines on our timelines. The days that define the rest of the days. Time defined by these life markers. There are days “after marriage” and “before kids.” You find your place in time by these markers as they define everything else “before” or “after.”  They are time. They are our memory keepers. 

You could call them life-defining. 

But pretty crazy right? That one day can hold such power. How can one day matter so much? One day defining all the others? Just 24 hours? 

But it does. 

It really does.

But then suddenly you meet a new kind of marker.  I guess like everything in life, it’s all relative. All-day I’ve been trying to pinpoint what defines these markers, why are they so different than all the other “BIG” days.  And I think it comes down to agency. With the previous marker, you had some kind of power. You could sprinkle it even. You could flair it. You choose your flair. What you would wear to the wedding?   Would you change for the party after the reception? Would you wear a gypsy-like headpiece (or is that one only me?)? You could even plan for possible disasters even. You could make sure Uncle George doesn’t sit next to cousin Bob. You had the ability to make those calls. 

Even on bad big days, you had power. You could plan a beautiful flower arrangement. You could write your goodbyes. You could decide on a getaway. You could order 12 desserts. You knew that it would suck. You knew that at least.

You have agency.

Turns out these new big days are defined by their power of surprise. They mark not just time, but eras. And era markers go beyond just defining your single timeline, but are so large they define others’.  Like the bombing of Pearl Harbor or a tsunami. They affect a much larger radius of people. It isn’t a YOU thing. It’s an US thing.

And we’ve got a new era coming up. We have one of those DAYS. Every day following will be “after” and all days prior “before.” It will define the rest of our lives.

December 20th will be a mark not just on my nuclear family, but on Jacob’s friends, our friends, Benno’s friends, and everyone reading this. 

It will define everything afterward and there is no planning to be done. No way of knowing. People ask me where we will be next week? Or what are the next steps in Jacob’s treatment? I have zero idea. None. Zilch. No way to plan before or after.

So many roads! And this time, I know better than to try and count them. Try and take control. Try and be ready. There is no ready.  There are just too many roads, and there are always roads hidden from the eye. 

And it’s scary. No denying that.

What will the era be?

I used to like surprises, I’m rethinking it.

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