Yes, I know that I already posted that today is the third anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. But I wrote that post yesterday to mark the day, just in case I didn’t feel like writing. But it is now the real day, my family is still sleeping, and I have more to say.

I slept solidly last night and woke up well rested. However, I had nightmare upon nightmare. They basically boiled down to losing everyone and everything in horrible ways. I was uninvited to one of my very best friends weddings FOR NO REASON except that it was suddenly decided that I was a bad person. My daughter, in a moment of anger, made a false report of child abuse against me. She then realized the horror of what she had done when my psychology license was suspended but in nightmare land, the wheels of motion could not be turned back. There was also a weird little dream where I walked into Costco (nightmare!) and the store layout had been totally changed (nightmare times two!) I was then instructed by a woman at the makeup counter to use red lip liner on both my lips and along my eye lid. The last little dream may have had something to do with my daughter’s contraction of pink eye last week. The brain does weird weird things, let me tell you.

Not everyone is impacted by anniversaries of bad events the way that I am. And it’s not like I am sitting with a calendar, marking the days so that I remember. I have one of those brains that is very good at marking the passage of time. This is often a very handy brain feature. I am a good planner, for example. My good friend, Gina, died over 15 years ago, suddenly, a few months after giving birth to her son. It happened in August. Although enough time has passed that I don’t remember the exact date or the exact number of years,  I still often have a mournful feeling in my body near the date of her death. August is also the month of my mastectomy and another very bad day in my life. On August 8, 2013, I found myself at work suddenly crying uncontrollably, after which I realized that it was the first anniversary of my mastectomy.

August 2014 was hard because we were on vacation and I found myself extremely anxious being away from home. My psychologist suggested that we avoid taking vacations during the anniversary times of bad events. I went back and forth about going away this weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, because of its overlap with my diagnosis date. (Yes, people, I not only got my cancer diagnosis right before a three day weekend but before one perfect for making war metaphors.) I actually made a number of reservations in the last few months and then cancelled them. When my husband was gone for 10 days, earlier in this month, I decided that anniversary or not, I needed to get away for my own sanity so I made reservations that could not be cancelled without a huge financial penalty.

On Friday, we made the drive to the rental house. We left at 3:00 pm and I expected given the fact that it was a holiday weekend that it would take at least 2 1/2 hours to get there to allow for an extra hour of traffic. Our first surprise was that my daughter, who finds car trips to be incredibly stressful, was actually pleasant on the drive. Our second surprise is that the trip only took two hours. When we walked into the house, my husband, seeing the gorgeous view out the back of the house, to which is attached with a wraparound deck, exclaimed, “This is the best place you have every gotten for us, hands down.”

Yesterday, we had a wonderful day. My daughter was in a good mood, the best I have seen for months. She SPENT TIME WITH US. She actually sat down at the dining table to eat lunch and invited my husband to join her. She played on the beach despite the availability of Internet! Sometimes, when I have a wonderful day, it can actually be a bit dysregulating, especially if it comes after a particularly stressful time, as this vacation has. Although it’s mostly good, this is the time when I’m most likely to get emotionally sloppy with my friends. “You are the BEST FRIEND IN THE UNIVERSE!!!” It’s not like I’m not sincere but you know, there’s a time and a place for everything and sometimes I act drunk on emotion. Good thing my people love me and are understanding.

Today may be a hard day. Today may be a wonderful today. Today may be both hard and wonderful. I may even get bored. I am hoping that today will be a celebration.

The view from the rental house at low tide.

The view from the rental house at low tide.

The view of the house from the beach.

The view of the house from the beach. The decks are amazing. I want to have a seafood party at this house!

Scene from historic La Conner, WA, taken with the watercolor setting on my camera. I decided that might look nicer on a gray morning.

Scene from historic La Conner, WA, taken with the watercolor setting on my camera. I decided that might look nicer on a gray morning.