Today I have lived 20,000 daysBy Emma Pearson
December 6, 2023
Main image by Debby Hudson on Unsplash
28 December 2021
I know, notice, or choose to find out, the weirdest things about dates and days. I love number patterns. I love that my birthday is 270367 and Mike’s is 270763. Same digits. A numerologist’s dream. Or so I choose to believe.
Just recently, we have seen a lovely date pattern – 211221 – for 21st December – the birthday of my friend Dave G; or, as my friend Joanne P wrote on Facebook for the same day, it is the “last 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century”.
Back in 1988, when I was doing my intercalated year, working in the Cabinet Office in London, one of my three formidable wimmin bosses, Anne B, walked in one morning stating, “Today I am 10,000 days old”. I remember being totally flabbergasted that she would know such a thing. This was pre internet, pre timeanddate.com. And, even more so, I remember being amazed at how few days 10,000 days actually was. Her age in years sounded so much more. She was 27 and a bit less than a half. I don’t remember if I celebrated my 10,000th day, but I probably did. It would have been 12th August 1994 – right around the time I joined PDI.
So it makes sense to figure that, me now being aged 54 and a bit less than a whole, I would be coming up to 20,000 days. It also helps to know that I know that Mike died when he was 19,615 days old. He didn’t make 20,000 days. But I made both 19,615 days, and, so it would appear, 20,000 days. I wrote about my own 19,615 day landmark, (http://www.widowingemptynests.com/2020/12/08/today-i-have-lived-19615-days/) and so it makes total and utter sense to talk about my 20,000 day milestone. Just because I can.
30,000 days comes in at just a little over 82 (82 years, one month and 19 days to be precise). Both of my parents have passed that tremendous milestone, though without making a song and dance about it. Mum only passed it 52 days ago – it was 6th November this year. I don’t think people generally make 40,000 days. You’d have to be 109 and a bit more than a half. I guess people do make it. Anyway, that’s not the point.
Julia lived for only 5,570 days. We didn’t celebrate her 5,000th day. I wish we had. It was the 7th December 2017. Just 8 months, pretty much to the day, after Mike died. I have no real recollection of what I did, but my diary states vitally important things about Team Coaching pre-calls, client calls, being on a Strengths-based coaching programme in the early evening, a friend starting chemo, visiting the ophthalmologist, and then collecting Julia at 21h00 from synchronised swimming training. A normal day in an abnormal life.
I realise that there is no point in celebrating 20,000 days any more than there is celebrating 5,000 days or even 12,345 or 23,456 days. Clearly, every day counts. Every day matters. Every day is precious. Some of us get a lot of them. Some of us get too few.
20,000 days or not, today is special. I honour, I welcome, I am grateful for these precious days that I get to live and breathe. I am sorry that Mike didn’t get 20,000, not that he cared for such trivia.
I remember writing about both my 500th and my 1,000th days without Mike. Landmarks, both of them.
http://www.widowingemptynests.com/2018/08/20/500-days-and-other-stories-of-numbers-and-dates/ (20th August 2018, my brother William’s 53rd birthday)
http://www.widowingemptynests.com/2020/01/03/997-998-999-1000-1001-1002-et-seq/ (3rd Jan 2020, just as COVID started getting serious around the world)
I remain so desperately sad not to have Julia at 6,482 days – which is what she would be today. We have already had close to 1,000 days without her. It will fall on the 26th March 2022 – I just looked it up. The day before my 55th birthday.
I will celebrate Julia that day, as every day. And I will celebrate my friend Tanya too, whose birthday it will be.
And then the next day I will celebrate Tanya’s father, Roger, as well as myself, for our own birthdays.
Because it feels important.
Because it is important.
Because every day matters.