In 2010, there were billboards all over Abilene claiming that the end of the world was coming on May 21, 2010. They were there for months. I can't remember the first time I saw them, but we were visiting about once a month or so that spring and so saw them regularly. Some guy had done some math involving the Bible or something and decided that was going to be the day the world ended.
For our family, the month and day were right, but the guy was off by one year.
Most people know, but I've made a few new acquaintances and friends over the past couple of years who don't know. May 21, 2009 was the day my dad died.
Understandably, May 21 is a hard day for us every year. We try to distract ourselves and think about other things, but every time I look at the clock, I remember what I was doing at that time on that day. I remember what I was feeling and what was going on around us and how other people responded, from the painter who got finished in record time to the people who got out of line for me at the gas station to the hospital person who took us to Dad. I remember Grandmother asking me not to go see his body and I remember holding his hand and hugging him one last time. (I have a bunch of these, there's a whole document titled "I Remember...")
Honestly, I'm not sure if May 21, 2009 or January 29, 2015 was the worst day of my life. On one, I lost my dad and on the other, I found out my baby daughter has an incredibly special heart. He's gone forever and she has something hard that she has to deal with her whole life and I can't change or fix either one. She's doing extremely well and is only slightly higher maintenance than a normal baby, but he's still gone forever. Both days suck.
I've processed Dad's death online a lot. There's notes on fb with my thoughts and feelings and a book I've had made with pictures and my family's eulogies and their own processing writings. Some of them I've read many times, some only once or twice. Turns out we Walkes are pretty good writers. And we all really loved John S. Walke.
So if I'm down or a little weepy around May 21, Father's Day, or June 24 (Dad's birthday), then that's probably why. It's a rough 34 days for me.
I know I've posted these pictures before, but they're my favorites. I think they show Dad's loving, comforting, protective, and goofy sides.