2021 Wall Calendar: Remembering Christopher Van Pelt
Yesterday afternoon I took down my 2021 wall calendar in my bedroom/office. I suspect this action isn’t usually an emotional moment for most people – but I just stood there, in the middle of the room (calendar in hand) not knowing what to do with it. So, I just stood there.
In early January of 2021, my best friend Chris gave me the calendar (along with a desk calendar for my office at work) because one day he heard me crying behind closed doors over the passing of my mother (d. January 3rd, 2021) and the passing of my friend Michael (d. January 1st, 2021). He didn’t know what else to do, so he bought me calendars with cute puppies on every page. And I absolutely loved them.
Then, on the last day of the month, Chris died.
After, both calendars became tremendously important to my daily life because they reminded me of how generous and loving my friend was and had been since we first met 18 years before. They were also a constant and depressing reminder of his absence from my life. I had placed too much importance on paper calendars - they're just calendars - it's crazy the things people do and think when grieving.
So, I stood there, with calendar in hand, not knowing what to do with it. Do I throw it away? – Do I keep it?
My feet, hesitantly, walked to my Memories box (it's a large square black box) and I gently laid the calendar on top of the other items.
Then I walked away. Knowing I’ll return to the box – and to the calendar – when I am mentally ready to do so.
That day may not be soon– but, eventually, the day will come when I will, once again, walk to the Memory box and will look inside. I’ll do this on a day these memories won’t overwhelm me and send me to my bed, devastated, for hours. A day I’ll be strong enough to hold the calendar in my hands and smile.
That day will come – the day when I’m ready to continue healing. That day will come – I’ll flip through the calendar pages again, cute puppies looking back at me – and it will be a good thing (and only a good thing).
That day will come. I know it will. Because it has to.
Photo: Christopher Van Pelt as Monica Van Pelt. A legendary entertainer throughout the Southern United States and a great friend to many. And my best friend.