Or in this case, 243
On November 9, 2013, I turned 50. It was my first adult birthday without alcohol.
A dear friend showed up and gifted me this framed photo her daughter captured one autumn.
By then, I had been sick for almost a year, with every month progressively worse. I look at our pictures from that day and there’s no filter that can hide the yellow pallor of my skin.
At the time, I didn’t know it would be 233 days before I would be sick enough to get my name added to the liver transplant waiting list.
Or that it would be 315 days before we’d get the first call for a potential match.
Or 327 days before the second call that wouldn’t pan out either.
Or 347 days before there would finally be a viable match.
What I knew when I saw the print was the visceral kinship I felt for the black and white scene.
Like the trees, I felt exposed. Their leaves were like my thoughts; scattered confetti-like. The one empty chair, alone, faced the expanse of unknown. The vanishing point obscured by the fog, what lies ahead, hidden.
The picture has hung on my wall for 3,087 days and I never look at it without feeling immense relief that chapter of my life closed, and without thinking of my friend, whose kindness continues to be part of my story.
Today marks 3,288 days alcohol free.
This is the 31st story in the Objects as Waypoints Writing Project series.