It’s been twelve years…and it feels like no time at all has passed each January 26th.
Every year, I celebrate the new year, the anniversary of the day I met and later married Nick. Then the month grows ever heavier until the end has passed. And every year I try to think of a distraction, things or activities that may keep this darkness from pulling me under. I try to convince myself this tactic will work, but it’s futile because the darkness is always there…the effervescence that keeps me afloat runs flat this day.
This year, I scheduled an industry exam for tomorrow. We are visiting my mother-in-law in Florida next month, so I have been charging through this course material to have it wrapped up before we leave. I took today off as a final day of studying, and here I am, sniffling and writing. I’m hoping the latter will help with the former.
To complicate matters, I am waiting for results from an MRI that I had a week and a half ago. I’ve grown accustomed to receiving results within 48 hours, so this has been unnerving to say the least. It started with an X-Ray in early December that resulted in an MRI in late December that resulted in an MRI with contrast (MRA) in mid January. The MRA was a Tuesday night, and I received a call on Thursday asking if I could stop back that evening for a few more images. They assured me that this was simply because I had unique anatomy and they wanted to make sure they saw every angle as I am, not as the human body should be.
I’m assuming my doctor is out of the office this week, and that’s the cause of delay…but given the time of year, I can’t help but go there. I’m feeling very betrayed that this difficult, supposedly concentration-demanding insurance course hasn’t turned off the anxiety and sorrow it promised [in my mind].
So I am deciding to relive part of that day that is dear to me. I have no words to properly communicate the feelings of loss and loneliness that I felt that morning, fully knowing and understanding the champion I had through life until that point was now gone. My chest ached, and it hurt to breathe, to think about going on…I wanted to be there with her if she couldn’t be here with me.
I had just started dating someone a few weeks before. I didn’t know on our first date that my mother was in her last month of life, or I probably wouldn’t have started a relationship…but I met this man who felt right and comfortable from nearly the moment our paths crossed…like we knew each other from another dimension. When Mom came home to finish out her days, he came every night after work to offer whatever support he could to me and my family.
The morning she died was too bright and sunny for such a day, but that detail has stayed lodged in my mind all these years, the duality of it all. After a few hours, I sent a quick text message to my new friend to let him know that he didn’t need to stop by that night. He called back almost instantly, and it started the tears anew…I didn’t take the call. I don’t need to retell the story, I’ve told it before…but I remember so keenly feeling all alone, and then this person showed up and wouldn’t stop hugging me because he knew I needed someone in that moment to warm life back into my heart. Mom would have loved that.
Loss and love…you can’t have the first without the second…and you don’t truly appreciate the second until you’ve had the first.