There's a whole culture now around creating a "streak." What's your Wordle streak? How many days in a row have you done the Mini Crossword? Did you close your watch rings all the days this month?
I have a love-hate relationship with these streaks. I really like adding up all those numbers, but I also sometimes defiantly break my streaks so I'm not beholden to them. This week, I broke my Wordle streak but I hit a couple of high personal-high streaks - the crossword puzzle, Duolingo...
Somehow, all of these coming together THIS week felt...like something. Because it made me think of the streak I've never wanted to count - 3,288 days since Sam died. NINE years. Nine YEARS. It's more years than we knew him. It's more years than he was alive.
And it's just not right. How did we get here?
Our lives have changed so drastically in the last nine years. The Sam-shaped hole in our lives has softened, become a little pliable. We think of him, we talk about him, but the edges have blurred with time. There's less pain, and more ache. There are some memories that are still sharp, in full focus, and there are others that are cushioned by forgetfulness. The photos tend to bring smiles rather than tears.
We have had no choice but to continue to put one foot in front of the other, to grow older each day, even though Sam did not. We have had no choice but to make new memories and new stories, even though Sam is not there to be in them. We have had no choice but to switch to the past tense, even though Sam is always so very present.
Nine years have gone by, with us missing him each moment.