A THOUSAND TINY STEPS

March

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Mollie and Gracie on stage. Gracie with newborn Jack.
Mollie and Gracie on stage. Gracie with newborn Jack.

And so…we March along…on a path we did not choose…to a destination we know too well.

It is March.

A month I have always loved. It bridges the darkness of winter with the lightness of spring. February with its snow to April with its rain. In some my former lives it brought respite from anxiety. Spring led to summer which is a season of hope. It is the month of fasting for members of the Baha’i’ Faith. The lengthening days bringing both spiritual joy and physical hunger. I earned my Division I All-American status in the month of March, 41 years ago now. My friend Moira’s birthday is in March. (She died in August, the Sunday of summer). St. Patrick’s Day is in March. This was a not needed reason to get drunk in my college years. March has been a safe month really. The name describing the action. We March into spring. Nothing too happy, nothing too sad. No tricky memories for me in March.

Until 2016.

That March was quiet in terms of doctor’s appointments and headache pains for Molly. She mentioned that her weird pain with standing up was back. I said I would call the doctor. She said don’t bother. (I should have bothered). February 28th was the beginning of the end now that we can look back on it. That fateful first doctor visit. All seemed to calm down that March, as my family slowly marched along toward the darkness. March, since that time, has been just that, a slow but steady march. A march toward all that April and May will bring.

Until 2021.

Like everything for me, equal parts joy and tragedy. All good things rising from the ashes. Pheonix like, Jack arrived. I think he chose March. He knew I needed a light in March. Naw’Ruz and Spring were no longer enough. Daylight savings either. That rising sun, while bringing hope, also illuminates all that is missing. So here comes Jack. Not due to arrive until well into April. Our birthday month. He arrives in March. On the twentieth no less. In the very last hours of winter, heralding the new year and spring. He is the perfect balance of Pisces and Aries. Duplicitous that boy of mine.

March is a dance now.

The knot in my stomach grows and festers. Every missed step and should have moment tapping my arm. Now balanced with the memories of swollen legs and high blood pressure. Last minute photos and interviews. Erin and Tony marking the day. Gracie fleeing to safety. Kenny standing by.

Fourth March with Jack, his arrival and three birthdays. Eighth March without Molly. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. March brings its all. Physical hunger, spiritual fulfillment. Longer days. Warmer weather. The promise of better things to come. April with its birthdays. May with its death days. Softer now perhaps. But stark none the less.

Beware the Ides of March.

Nestled between the equinox (the 19th due to Leap year) and the first day of spring (the 21st) is Jack!

Missing from all things on all days of every month, Molly.

“My birthday is April 1st, but I’m no fool.” Molly Banzhoff (04/01/03 3:45pm-05/07/16 noon)

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