Sarah and I were married forty-nine years ago today. I thought about this when I woke up this morning. Today was my first morning back in my house after my two-hour hip-replacement operation on Monday, August 10th. Sarah died on August 11th.

Sometime earlier in the morning, I had woken to serious pain. It wasn’t time for another oxycodone, but I knew that if I got a cold-pack on my leg, that would reduce the pain (my right leg, from knee up, looks as if I have elephantiasis), so I went, aided by my cane, downstairs to get another cold-pack, and then back upstairs for another few hours of sleep.

I was surprised when I woke up later that I didn’t feel more pain. It was almost like no pain. I thought again: Sarah. Anniversary. New hip. First day back at my house. Dogs sleeping on their beds on the floor (well, Lola sleeping; as soon as he heard me twitch the blanket, Sawyer was standing, peering over the foot of the bed, dark hooded eyes, small whine, meaning breakfast).

I am not a numerologist, but still, the first two weeks of August are overfull for me, including my birthday (August 5th) and Sarah’s birthday (July 28th –ok, almost August), creating a swirl of meanings for me. It’s usually difficult for me to go through this time of the year. But today is different. It’s our anniversary.

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