On Friday, my friend and morning helper Kate came to get me out of bed and brought my mom and I a pretty potted plant. She said, "I know this is your crapiversary, so I thought this would help." Friday marked one year since my brother, Chris, passed away suddenly and this new term "crapiversary" seems like the perfectly fitting way to describe a day that is indescribable. Every few years, I seem to acquire new crapiversaries, days that deserve remembering but not for fun joyous reasons. They are the "never forget..." days of your personal life.
Crapiversaries are not easy and usually end up making you cry at random times. To keep me from dreading these inevitable calendar pages, a planned day with equal parts remembrance and diversion is kind of crucial. This year, on May 1st, in addition to the standard eating out at a favorite restaurant, my mom and I decided to go to the Southern Women's Show, which for me is a lot of stimulation and food samples and monograms and bedazzled BS coming at you like whack-a-moles. [Tangent: Seriously, I don't know how everyone there looked so happy. I hit my ceiling after being there for 15 minutes.]
We were feeling kind of defeated in our search for diversion there because I didn't need hair extensions or floor refinishing services. Then we wandered into a booth by World Vision, who does mission work with third-world countries and has a child sponsorship program. [Tangent: Because I am always dubious, I used to think these things were Sally Struthers style shams, but my former roommate sponsored a child and I used to see the notes she got from her sponsor child from Africa..and now they are Facebook friends. Clearly, these people are real. It forever reminds me of Garden State where Natalie Portman's sponsored "brother" comes to live with them from Africa when he goes to Rutgers...but I digress.] They shared the booth with a group that sets up businesses for native artisans and sells their wares stateside. At first we were just lured in with pretty textiles and magazine bead necklaces, and before you knew it we were sponsoring a child.
The sweet woman with the nose ring working there told us that we could pick based on country or even a birthday, so at that moment a little light bulb went off cohesively between me and my mother. We decided this was some sort of cosmic way to remember Chris. We "adopted" a little boy from Nicaragua named Christian who shared my brothers birthday. It seemed only right and it led to us both crying in the Music City Center like damned fools. I felt like my brother, the ever charitable Jones family member, was pleased with our decision.
I know there will be many Crapiversaries to come, and some may be more laced with sad than happy, but I think they are important. It made me happy to see that my brother's friends celebrated the crapiversary, too. They went camping at one of their favorite camping/canoeing spots. It also seemed like appropriate timing that last week, Hello Giggles ran my story called Being there for Someone who has lost a loved one. [Tangent: You can read it here. I had written it a few weeks prior after a week of REALLY awkward interactions regarding the losses in my family. I think it was a perfect time for Hello Giggles to run my first story about something other than TV. I know it feels awkward plugging this in a post that is dedicated to Chris, but I think it's an important one to read and is relatable for anyone that has lost a loved one.] I miss my brother everyday, and I think he is somehow pleased to be contributing to my creativity.