Usually during the summer months, I become much more vibrant and active. I'm excited about hot days and warm nights. I look forward to the thunderstorms rolling through the mountains and rainbows appearing after almost each one of them. My home is more conducive to inviting loved ones over and having BBQs, fire pits and enjoying one another's company. But lately, I'm finding myself very fatigued and weak. My joints hurt and my sleep is next to none. In fact, the past couple of summers it's been like that. And then I realize that we're approaching July. July is supposed to be the best month of the season, but it's the month my father passed away back in 2012. I guess my brain still has that same day, same time imbedded in the archive files of my mind. I'm not even sure if those files are considered "archive" yet. So I acknowledge it, accept it and try focusing on the better memories, instead of his last days.

I remember a friend of mine always used to say, "February is just a bad month for me. Please keep me occupied or I'll fall into a depression." And coincidentally, it happened to be when she had lost her parents. I don't know why dates stick in our minds so vividly, as if we were revisiting the past somehow. And too often enough, I always see 12:21 when I look up at the clock. I saw this a few years before Dad passed. It was the time he died. July 21rst is also the date of his passing. Many of my relatives have died on the 21rst of whatever month. Strange. I can't help but have a tinge of fear every 21rst of the month. That's a whole other issue. I see the fatigue, aches and pain my mother goes through during this time. She's quiet, more introverted - introspective - as if she's in a far off land. And she is.

And old friend of mine who had moved away down in North Carolina years ago, is coming up to visit us for a few days with her little Chihuahua. My little Lola will be thrilled to have a friend to play with. I'm finding out that these beautiful distractions is really what's going to save me. Not to say that I'm going to completely forget - but it helps to have a dose of happiness in the house when the months of remembrance looms over our heads. So, I won't be writing much this week. She is on the road now and supposed to be here tomorrow morning or afternoon. I'm taking some days off and focusing in on what's important. We're just going to catch up, enjoy the nice weather, BBQ, watch the fireworks and have a nice, peaceful time. I'll most likely be back later this week or next Monday. Until then, please have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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