On July 25, 2008, Boris and I went to the beach. It was pretty romantic (as romantic as 17-year olds can be). We kissed and he asked me to be his girlfriend. We’d been friends for a couple of years by then. I didn’t agree to be his girlfriend until months down the road, but that’s a different story. I always thought of July 25th as “our day”. We sort-of celebrated it most years. We’d go do something together and we’d eat Arby’s because that’s what we ate on our first July 25th.
Since Boris died, July 25th has been another hard day. We were never married, so I don’t have a wedding anniversary. This also means that most people in my life don’t remember or mention July 25th. It’s a day I kind of keep to myself, and maybe post on social media about remembering him on this day.
On July 26th, 2019 I went on a first date with a guy. I was nervous, of course, as I’d just started to dip my toes in the dating world. Fast-forward to now, I am still friends with this guy and life has gotten in the way of us becoming something more, but I think eventually that will happen. I have mixed feelings about this date. When I met this guy, I didn’t think it would turn into anything. I was looking for casual and not thinking long-term at all. But, now I think, maybe there’s some symbolism in this…like turning a page or moving forward. The day after. It kind of scares me to think about.
In the midst of me pondering this, I heard that people were criticizing Amanda Kloots for mentioning that she was beginning to date again (she lost her husband, Nick Cordero, to COVID a little over a year ago). I am so angry that people are so judgemental, especially people who have zero idea what it is like to lose their spouse or partner. I am thankful to Amanda Kloots for talking publicly about this and I hope that she is comforted and surrounded by a supportive widow community.
I am not sure what is going to happen with my July 26th guy. I just know that he’s become a great friend and someone I can be myself with, including my sadness and grief. And when I feel voices judging me or questioning this, I try to remember that my relationships are my business and that only I can know what is best.
This road to moving forward is hard, y’all. But, we are here.