i blame our friend becky. she started it.
becky loves to celebrate her friends’ 10,000th day of life with elaborate surprise plans, involving city-wide scavenger hunts, strange foods to sample, and – no joke, she actually did this to somebody – skydiving. the 10,000th day hits a few months after the 27th birthday, which meant that, back in may, i was given my 10,000th day celebration. even though i know the drill by now i still had no idea what my friends were up to, until joel took me to lunch and gave me this letter that he wrote, which explains why we love the idea of day-celebrations so much.
Today, you’ve been on this world for 10,000 days. When you measure a life by days rather than years it changes perspective quite a bit. A day brings to mind meals, chores, conversations and all the beautifully small things of life.
Years are just too big to be meaningful to us. Years bring to mind job changes, big family changes and moving homes. Days are what life is made of. Years are what biographies are made of. Days are what matter.
Today we celebrate the beautiful smallness of life. We celebrate all the amazingness that has mostly been forgotten. We celebrate mindfulness.
You spent days playing at your parents climbing trees and running around, taking care of animals. You played literal days of piano at home at at churches. You worked at Rose’s Tea Room serving thousands of cups of tea and who knows how many scones. We’ve been married almost 3600 days. The past 1000 days have been consumed with our children, Aida, Ash and Sky. They have filled your mind, and eyes and ears every day. You’ve changed thousands of diapers, made 100’s of eggs and lost untold hours of sleep. Spent hours breast feeding and unfortunately breast pumping. You’ve played games and dried tears. You’ve filled days with laughter, tears, stress, joy, relief, prayer, and pain.
The smallness of life is what is important.
You live in the small things.
As you look back at the past 10,000 days I’m sure that so much is a blur, so much of what you remember must feel random. You remember the most insignificant things and forget some of the most important. Entire years blur together into a mush. You have gone through pain and joy. You have been weak and strong. You have been wise and foolish. Through it all, you have been you. Through the 10,000 sunrises you have been Lani.
Give yourself grace, you make mistakes like all, learn from them and move on.
Be reckless; you will make more memories.
When you have lived 20,000 days you will be almost 55 and it will be fall, I’ll have just turned 63 and it will be the 33rd anniversary of you getting hit by a car. There is so much of life left. You’ll eat 30,000 meals between now and then. Go to sleep more than 10,000 times. You’ll spend days with friends and family, learning new things, seeing new things and delighting in old things.
Today, we remember the days, look forward to more and do just a little that will feel good and make another day to remember.
There is so much smallness to delight in.
So many beautiful tiny things from which to derive joy. I’m looking forward to journeying with you as we do it together. I’ll be your partner as we live the days together.
Perhaps someday we’ll become wise enough to count the hours instead, as they are even more precious than the days.
Until then, lets fill up our days with beautiful smallness and delight in it all.
(certain mushy parts omitted. you’re welcome.)
that day was filled with lovely memories, the mundane kind of special that is lunch out, a pedicure, that sort of thing. no skydiving, thank heavens. i prefer to keep a safe distance from them – the heavens, that is.
today, however, is another millenidia.
2 days ago marked 1000 days since sky’s last heartbeat. yesterday was 1000 days from when we learned that he was gone, and today is 1000 days since his birth.
1000 sunrises, 1000 sunsets.
1000 breakfasts, 1000 dinners.
1000 good mornings, 1000 goodnight kisses.
we miss the years with him, the birthdays and christmases and spring-into-summer-into-falls, but oh, how we miss the days. the days are where grief is lived and loss is worked out, through each missed moment and moment of missing. on his birthdays we celebrate his short life, but on his millenidia we look at 1000 days and wish that we had experienced even one.
today, i will change sky’s siblings’ diapers in honor of his.
i will wipe his little sister’s nose and remember his perfect newborn nose of 1000 days ago.
i will repeat mama and dada with his brother and sister, learning language together with sky’s mama and dada.
i will give his sick brother all of the special kind of bittersweet cuddles that mamas of loss have; we hold just a little tighter.
it will be another day of love and loss, pain and joy, stress and relief, morning and night. another day.