We are in countdown mode. One week until the year anniversary of the fire. One week.
This week has been hard, probably the hardest for me yet. When I think back about the Halloween or Thanksgiving before the fire, it just seemed so distant to the actual event. Yes the two years varied in extremes, but their disconnect made it easier in a way. I wasn't even pregnant.
But this week leading up to the fire, I can remember that. It will forever be cemented in my head because it was the stark contrast of one week to the next.
A year ago I was setting up my classroom, exploring the teacher store, laminating and cutting out rules, and pizza fractions.
A year ago I was sitting in my living room (facing the road) watching the Olympics and finishing the crazy quilt stocking that I was making Dan (and that I finished the night before the fire!). I was organizing photos from Kellen's baby shower and had uploaded his nursery pictures to ratemyspace.com. How sad I was to get negative comments, though I understood that the pictures didn't pick up the blue walls. I was arguing with the muralist about the guitar mural she had painted (and I had paid for) but she hadn't finished. I was washing and folding baby clothes, knowing that I would be limited in time between the start of school and Kellen's birth. I had started his baby book, arranging ultrasound pictures, and finishing cutting out the letters for his name. We hadn't shared the baby name, but seeing it on paper made him seem so much more real (apparently being kicked in the bladder doesn't have this same effect). The night before the fire, Dan's cousin was in town, and we had all gone to see Lewis Black. He signed my Red, White, and Screwed DVD, which was my favorite. I had taken the DVD and the book out of the car that night, which was uncharacteristic of me. I would do several things in that last 24 hours that weren't typical and that I would later come to regret. That was the before.
Everything was different on August 26th. And I am counting down to August 26, 2009, complete with a ball drop and everything. It is my new year.