Happy anniversary, my right arm
Anniversaries are a funny thing. A wedding anniversary blooms memories of pure joy, love; a day when even the horrible weather could not have squandered the moment. A birthday, a life celebrated, a newborn's arrival, a last birthday lived out with loved ones on this earth. Anniversary of a baptism, of a first date, an engagement.
We've had a new anniversary to mark as of late. Doug's farm accident occurred in the evening hours of June 26, 2017. His ampuversary, a legitimate thing (#ampuversary), June 27. Yes, we celebrate that Doug is alive. We swell with happiness he lived to meet our daughter and continue to have another daughter two years later. We realize how lucky we are. We are blessed with friends' and family's help and support.
But, this anniversary is so damn hard. When the sun sets this time of year, I see Doug being driven away in the back of an ambulance not knowing if he'd be alive on the other end. When it starts to get dark in June, I feel the speeding car I was in on our way to Bismarck. When I wake up at dawn, I can smell the Twin Cities as residents awaken and begin their daily hustle. I can taste the coffee in the waiting room; I recall the pain and trauma following surgery.
All this is to say, I don't wake up June 26 and exclaim, "Happy anniversary, dear! You almost died one year ago. And, tomorrow, we can celebrate you having your arm cut off! Let's go to supper. How about it?"
But, I do have a renewed sense of appreciation for every day, even if most days I seem to forget amidst the toddler years. Every June 26 is a June 26 Doug almost didn't have. Every morning is a day Amelia may not have known her dad. Every heart ache, every celebration, every stress; it's all worth it.
You know what isn't worth it? Working late so you can "just get done." Being exhausted and hungry because "the rain is coming." Not turning the tractor off because "it's quicker, easier this way."
Farmers, ranchers, producers in agriculture everywhere: Losing a life, losing a limb, it's not worth it. Work safe, work smart. Don't take chances because an anniversary of an ugly thing is an ugly anniversary indeed.