April and May are difficult months for me. They are full of celebrations – my birthday in late April and my mom’s birthday in mid-May, and of sadness – the anniversary of my dad’s death in early April and memory of his birthday in early May.

For the past six years, I start to feel dread as spring draws near. It is odd to stress over these dates; nothing new will happen on that day. He won’t die again. But it is a date that is a solid reminder of the event itself and the number of clock turns since that awful day.

The feeling has definitely lessened over the years and has changed from that apprehension into more of a lingering sadness. The first few years, I could barely mention him without crying. But time has a way of smoothing out pains, and for the last few years I’ve been able to make jokes and tell stories about my pop without too much accompanying grief.

A few days ago I started thinking more about the upcoming anniversary of his death, April 9th. It’s a Tuesday. Each year I try to do something special, even if it’s just lighting a candle in the evening and spending some time thinking about him.

I haven’t decided what I’ll do this year. It’ll be almost a new moon that night. Now that I live in the mountains with our beautiful clear skies, perhaps I’ll go look at some stars.

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