talisman part 1
Thanks in part to Facebook memories, and aided by my almost freakish memory for dates, May 2/3 brings up a lot of complex and pivotal experiences in my life. I usually approach these days with something like caution, and am relieved when they pass. Sounds a bit like superstition, but hey, I'm human.
Eight years ago today I had what I realized much later was my first — and thankfully so far only — mild panic attack in a gallery in London, of all places. It took me entirely by surprise, so I didn't know the signs to look out for or how to react to minimize the impact of it. It took me a long time to not only realize what had happened, but to unpack why it happened, because the root cause was far away in space and time. We're all a product of our history, but the two situations were so far removed from one another, that I didn't make the connections I needed to make until years later. Since then the knowledge of the potential for it happening again has held me back at times, much to my frustration. But as is usually the case with personal growth, it's a process I'm working on.
Seven years ago today my father nearly died, and time stood still for two days while my family sat in a hospital waiting room as Army doctors worked a miracle to save his life. I've written about that here before, so if you've been around a while, you know the story.
Six years ago today he was back in the hospital after cycling through rehab and home and illness again, but doing well enough for us to be hopeful.
Five years ago today/tomorrow I was in Oslo for a-ha concerts, and the Afterglow show happened on May 3rd. It was several months after my father's death and I was still in deep grief; at one point during the show a fellow fan I know only a little via Facebook came over and wordlessly gave me a much-needed hug. She could tell I was struggling emotionally and simply was there for me in that moment. I'll always be grateful for that kindness.
A few years went by without significant incident, then last year on this date we learned that my son's beloved high school theater teacher had taken her own life, less than a year after transitioning to living full time as a woman. Because of COVID, there was no proper in person memorial service for her, so students had built a kind of memorial outside the closed school, with bricks laid out on the sidewalk in the shape of her initials, with flowers and various theater mementos piled around them. That particular memory hit hard today, because it was due to this teacher's thoughtful and impassioned mentorship that my son found his life's calling, and every achievement of his reminds me that we would have loved to share it with her. My son just designed his first college show, and she would have been there. She should have been there. So should my dad. Sigh.
I am so grateful for Magne's new song on Instagram today in part because it tips the balance on May 2/3 towards positive associations and memories :-) However it wasn't the song I need today, what I need is 'You have what it takes'. I'm going to write about that one soon (hence the part 1), but in the meantime I'll just say it has been a talisman for me in a way that is somewhat similar to 'More Than Good Enough' — although the latter is more of a 'wrap this around me when I need protection from outside myself' talisman, whereas the former is a kind of 'touch this when I need a dose of strength and confidence from inside' talisman. Something I didn't know I needed until it showed up in my life :-)