Milestones and Anniversaries

A few weeks ago (three, to be exact) I passed a couple of anniversaries – and didn’t even fully realize it until afterward. The fact that I haven’t written about them until now could be taken as being a milestone, although not a chronological one. I’ll explain:

Three weeks ago was Sunday, May 24. It happened to be 30 months since Toni was in the car crash that took her life, and 24 months since my last day at work – both to the day. While I have been, am, and always will be aware of these dates on some level, it didn’t really sink in until I went for a bicycle ride the following Friday (the 29th) with my friend, Tony.

The route we chose is one we’ve ridden many times. It’s primarily a loop on bike trails around the southern part of Tucson, from the intersection of Golf Links and Harrison down south to the Julian Wash Greenway, west to 6th Street, and then back east on the Aviation Parkway bike path (if you’re from Tucson, you’ll know the approximate path; if you’re not, don’t worry about it – the details aren’t germane to this post). Tony lives very near the end of our self-selected loop, so sometimes we stop there so I can use the facilities. Other times, he goes home and I continue on my way.

On the 29th, though, I told Tony that I was going to visit Toni’s tree. (Yes, I know – Tony / Toni – sometimes our rides were interesting.) He decided to come along, as the tree is only about 2.5 miles from his home. It’s a desert willow that was planted in her memory in the spring of 2013 in a memorial-garden section of the Loop. I don’t stop and visit it *every* time I ride in the area, but since it had been a while, I thought it was probably time to see how the tree was doing.

We found out it’s doing very well, thankyouverymuch. If it isn’t *the* tallest of the trees, it’s definitely *one* of the tallest. This is what it looked like in May, 2013, shortly after it was planted and the dedication ceremony held (for all 100 trees, not just hers!). In this picture, it’s maybe three feet tall. A week or so after the dedication ceremony, I went back and spread some of Toni’s ashes around the base of the tree, so she could help nurture it.


Here’s a picture of the tree on 5/29/15. As you can see, it’s doing fine and is taller than I am!


I have a desert willow in my back yard (it was part of our back yard upgrade), and that was her favorite tree. Although I had no say in what kind of tree was planted in her memory, I’m glad it’s a desert willow.

So the 30-month anniversary of Toni’s car crash / death, and the 2-year anniversary of my last day at work, came and went with no fanfare. The fact that I’m just now getting around to writing about it indicates, to me anyway, that I *am* moving on from both those upheavals in my life. (Naturally, the act of writing this blog entry makes me choke up somewhat…) This isn’t the direction I had expected my life to take, but I take it as a good sign that I no longer think about either date (11/24/12 or 5/24/13) constantly – and when I do, I can (mostly) retain my composure.

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