The sunlight shocked open my eyelids and pushed me to face the morning. Seven AM wasn't my friend. Perhaps because Four AM and I had grown to know each other so intimately. Four AM was comforting to me in all of his dark and quiet anxiousness. In that time of night, the silent hum of unspoken fears wrapped around me, curious and complicated, moody, but mine. But Seven, she and I had become strangers. Her pesky perkiness was too draining to even acknowledge. "Leave me alone!" I begged, trying to reclaim the darkness of shut eyelids. "Find someone else to force your rise and shine upon. I'm not interested."
But this morning was different. The light had a mission and Seven was unrelenting. As my consciousness took over, snapped into alert, I remembered the significance of this particular dawn. Not only was it Thanksgiving, but also the six month mark of Blake's death. The weight of that realization tugged at my heart, causing me to collapse into the sunlight and embrace my old friend Seven. Today would be too lonely if I isolated myself. "Ok Seven, you win."
These two events coinciding didn't feel like a coincidence. The universe had transpired to lay out this juxtaposition so clearly that it would be impossible to ignore. The national day of thanks and the day that marks half a year without My Love. One with a theme of gratitude, the other: grief. I started asking myself, "How can I respect both feelings without falling too deeply into one or the other? How can mixing the two create a more meaningful day?"
The answer was actually simple: focus on love. The absence of it, the presence of it, the yearning for it, and the hope that it still exists. Love in all of its forms. Love that can be seen and love that can only be felt. Love was both my greatest gift and the deepest hole in my heart. Today, I would focus on love.
My annoying but inspiring friend Seven AM helped me realize that this Thanksgiving, I'm not actually balancing opposite emotions. On the surface that's what grief and gratitude seem to be, but in actuality, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Because the foundations of both are the exact same thing: love. It's easy to trace gratitude back love, but I had to stretch my mind to come to the conclusion that grief couldn't exist without love either. Love makes gratitude and grief intrinsically linked. The separation of the two only came from my refusal to wake up.
Now, I'm wide awake with my friend Nine AM. He has all the analytical insight of Four, but with the blissful optimism of Seven. At this time of morning, the light is shining bright, but it no longer has to battle against the harsh contrast of nighttime. The sun is welcome to disrupt my sleep because now I want to be awake, enjoying every minute of this day. A day that reminds me of both the past and the present, but more importantly, the love that weaves the two together.
Today, I'm coming from a place of Nine.