Thirteen Days I Remember Well

For Thursday 13 this time, I am making a list of 13 days I remember clearly. My list starts with a couple of universals, then gets more personal.

1. Nov. 22, 1963. My mother and older brother (by 9 years) picked me up at elementary school and my brother told me that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. He was always tricking me and so I didn't believe him. I asked our mom and she said it was true. I'll never forget how unemotional she was about it. 

2. Nov. 24, 1963 I was parked on the rug in front of our old cabinet tv watching Lee Harvey Oswald be led through a narrow passageway when it appeared to me that he twisted and tried to escape. I didn't understand at first that he had been shot. I was 8 years old. I'll never forget it.

3. Sept. 11, 2001 I was at work at the post office, sorting my route when we heard that an airplane had flown into one of the twin towers. The carrier at the case next to mine had a radio, and when a second plane hit the other tower, I said, "We're at war." The supervisor said, "Get back to work." Of course she did. I didn't really get to find out what had happened until I got home that evening.

4. Jan. 28, 1986  I had been working as a postal carrier for only a few days when I returned to the office from making my deliveries to find a television on and the news of the challenger disaster being reported. 

5. Feb. 20, 1988 My wedding day. We lasted 13 years and the second half of those was not fun, but we began well and this day was perfect.

6. Feb. 10, 1993 My dear beloved Belgian shepherd dog Sundance had to be put down at the age of 15. It isn't overstating it to say that he taught me everything I needed to know about love. He saved my life in so many ways. When he died, the color went out of my world. I kept listening to Neil Diamond's "The Story Of My Life" and Peter Paul & Mary's "Puff The Magic Dragon" over and over and crying my eyes out. I still miss him. 

7. Aug. 2003 I don't now recall the exact date but I am recalling the day when I decided this was the day to get a new dog. I just got the feeling and knew it had to be. I went to the mall pet store (all six of my others have been rescues) and there I met an Aussie Shepherd I bought and named Bosco. I carried him through the house and out the side door and plunked his 4-month old little butt down to meet the other two resident pooches. It became clear he had never had room to run, but soon picked it up. Before long he was herding his new brother and sister, much to their chagrin. I came to love this guy as much as my dear Sundance, referenced in the preceding paragraph. My two Number Ones. I had Bosco for 11 years and God how I still love him even though he has gone on to the Rainbow Bridge.

8. April 7, 1984 I am and have always been a huge baseball fan and the Detroit Tigers are my team. From 1978 until May of 1984, I was living in San Antonio Texas, and rarely ever got to see my Tigers in that era before cable. Moreover, I hadn't even owned a working tv for a couple of years, but I knew the Tigers were going to be on the Game Of The Week, so I dragged out a small tv that hadn't worked in all that time, and lo and behold it came on and I got to watch Jack Morris's no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox. Within an hour after the game ended, the tv conked out again, never to come on anymore. Thank you, Baseball Angels, for letting me see that game.

9. Oct. 10, 1968 There is nothing in the world like being a baseball-loving youngster and seeing your team win it all. On this date, the Tigers completed an amazing comeback from a 3 games to 1 deficit against the mighty St. Louis Cardinals to take the championship. Bliss!

10. July 23, 1967 My parents had rented a beach cottage for our vacation and I enjoyed it so much! There was a paddle boat I could use, and paperback books all over the place (I spent an afternoon reading a sci-fi thing called "The Joy Makers" if I recall the title correctly.) I loved the cottage and the lake and the games we had with us. So, it is memorable for all of that. But then on July 23rd, my father, who was a newspaperman, got a call from Detroit saying a riot had broken out and that he had to come back to work. So our vacation got cut short. I can still remember looking up Woodward Avenue from our 'burb and seeing the smoke rising over Detroit.

11. April 18, 1996 At the post office we had to have what were supposed to be annual route inspections, where a supervisor from another office would go around with us all day and write down all our times and stuff. These inspectors were usually taciturn and the day of inspection involved counting everything from pieces of mail to minutes spent doing each task. Ugh! So imagine my surprise when my inspector and I hit it off like crazy and spent the most unlikely and most wonderful day together. I was married at the time, and so it was just one perfect day, but oh my. And the thing is, we took one look at each other and bam, the lightning bolt. That had never happened to me before and never has again. 

12. Aug. 15, 2001 My divorce became final. It was no fun, to say the least. But though I didn't know it at the time, it set me free for a better life that came after. 

13. Sept. 29, 1985 My sobriety date. Everything that has happened since has only been possible because God answered my prayer and removed the compulsion to drink. 34 sober years and counting, one day at a time.


Sarah Russell said…
Congratulations on your sobriety. A tough road, and so worth it!
Beautifully written.

This is the 55th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Nearly everyone I’ve ever met knows where they were, and what they felt, when they first heard the news.
Sioux Roslawski said…
Shay--Thanks for sharing some of the windows into your life. Of course the Bosco day and the Sundance day got me the most.
CountryDew said…
Good memories. Congratulations on your sobriety. I don't remember the Kennedy times, I was too young. I'm glad you've had such wonderful pets to remember.
I loved reading every word of this post. I’d love to read more about your wedding day and the lightning bolt, if you’d consider elaborating in poetry.

This is such a great prompt for you! I’m thrilled you’re doing it. <3 <3 <3
Oh, and I got teary over Bosco.
Su-sieee! Mac said…
Our principal came into our classroom (5th grade) with a small TV set and had us watch the events of President Kennedy's assassination unfold. What a whirlwind of years that you and I have traveled. :-)
Sherry Blue Sky said…
A wonderful story, a wonderful life.