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When you’re young, for most people, every day is a new day. You don’t really have any regrets. You take life for what it is, for good or bad. Sure, you may not look forward to the first day of school, or a test, or spending time at that boring relative’s house on a holiday when you’d rather be home where your friends are. But, otherwise, everything is new and different.

Then you get a little older and things start looking a little different. You start to recognize different days as when things happened. That day in May when your true love at the time told you they were breaking it off. You start keeping track of things like that. Not all bad things, but good things to.

Further on in years, though, the bad things start numbering the good. Maybe not completely bad but unpleasant. More and more days start reminding you of people who you’ve lost over the years.

Their birthdays, your birthday, holidays… They start crowding together and it seems there are more days that remind you of lost loved ones than days that don’t.

Some days are more painful than others, especially if you’ve lost a parent and Father’s Day or Mother’s Day is approaching. Then you’re not sitting through one day of it, you sit through about two weeks of reminders on TV, radio, newspaper fliers, and the like. Every one like a tiny dagger in the heart.

All evidence to the contrary, I am a mostly private person. I don’t make a big deal about things that I don’t want a big deal to be perceived. It’s my pain that I feel and I prefer to keep that to myself. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care or that I don’t remember, just that it’s my pain and mine to deal with.

Even if your calendar has a little red mark on every day signifying a memory, it’s still a new day, a different day, wide open for new and good things if you allow it.

It’s okay to remember. It’s okay to be sad. It’s even okay (and I think this is important) to smile and laugh at a memory because that is a gift they gave you.