So why is today the first day of the Dark Month? Today, on October 28th, just 2 years ago was the day we found out Brady was ill.
Like most memories I have during that month of time, the memory of this date is painfully vivid. Brady had come home early from work the day before. He hadn’t felt well and knew something was off. He thought he had a gallbladder infection. His doctor advised him to visit the emergency room. So the next day I got up to go to work and shortly after he got up to go to the emergency room with his mom. I don’t remember being too worried about his health. He was Superman. I knew he’d be fine. What I was worried about was our insurance situation. He didn’t have any. I didn’t have any. And I didn’t know what that meant for us.
He texted me that morning after he got to the hospital to update me on what was going on since I couldn’t be there with him. The conversation went like this:
The last text he sent me was at 11:32 am. By this time I had gone onto my lunch break at work. I remember talking to my coworker about the entire thing. I remember telling her about Brady’s health history. It began to make me anxious that I hadn’t heard about the results yet. Staying positive, I kept clinging on to one of Brady’s most used sayings in situations such as this; “No news is good news.” After lunch, I returned to my classroom to prepare for my 1st grade students, checking my phone constantly along the way. I was just getting the class settled in and about to hand out papers when my good friend, and assistant principal walked into the room. He told me to grab my things and go down to the office where my mom was waiting for me. He would be taking over my classes for the rest of the day.
Completely in the dark about anything that was going on I did as he said. My mind was racing through the possibilities as to why my mom would be at my school. When I walked into the office I found my mom standing there, crying. She looked at me and said, “It isn’t good.”
The room grew hazy. Everything was in a fog, like a dream. Except it wasn’t a dream. I was living this nightmare. I believe my mom continued to speak, but the only thing I heard was the word “cancer” fall from her mouth.
I think I collapsed onto the nearest wall or door at that point. There wasn’t a thing I could do to stop all the tears from running down my face. Amongst the many thoughts going through my head I remember thinking I don’t want any of my students or coworkers to see me like this on the way out the door. That thought was short lived. The second I turned the corner I ran right into my boss, the principal. She quickly threw her arms around me and asked me what was wrong. I believe I gave her a short answer before pushing myself through anyone else who was standing in the office. As I reached my mom’s car I sucked up the tears. I spent most of the car ride thinking as I stared out the window.
I just wanted to be with Brady. That’s all. I wanted to be with him at that very moment. I didn’t want to drive across town. I didn’t want to search for a parking space. I didn’t want to walk through the halls. I just wanted him to be in my arms and I in his.
No one else in the entire world mattered to me in those moments.
October 28th, 2014 marked the beginning of my forever changed life. And today hit me much harder than I had anticipated. As someone who usually has a lot of control over her emotional state, being caught of guard with an unexpected downpour of emotions is rare. It’s wild how something as simple as a date in time, even 2 years after the fact, can continue to have such a strong effect on one’s emotional state, but it does. However, as always, I will continue to push through… because I have no choice.
One day down, three weeks and two days to go until I can shut the door on this year’s Dark Month.
I can do it.