I remember every minute of two years ago today. Should I write it down? Will I always remember it? Will it fade like so many other things?
I was booked on the 7 a.m. flight out of DC. It was the first flight I could get home and it happened to be the same flight my Mom & Brother were on. They had come to DC for the Thanksgiving Holiday. What I really remember is staring out that window on the plane and reliving everything…every conversation, every moment. I remember sitting there, looking out that window, tears streaming down my face praying to God I would get there and she was still with us. Not sure why I wanted this. I think because I had always said there was no scenario possible that I could envision that Julie would die and I would just be in D.C. It was a miserable 3 hours and 12 minutes.
I land at 11:15 a.m. and my family wished me luck as I headed to the rental car company. It as a nasty day: overcast, rainy, gray…it fit the mood perfectly. I arrived at MD Anderson just before noon. (It was only later that day that I found out I had a whole Church praying for me to arrive.) Julie’s family and in-laws where there with a few good friends. And we were all just waiting.
It is such a strange thing to experience. I had never sat around a hospital before and waited for someone to die. I was with my Grandpa when he died, but he was at home and he was 70 – something. I had never done this at a hospital with a 35 year old.
The minutes ticked by so slow. We watched her every breath…has something changed..is her color the same?
We were waiting for Julie’s favorite priest to arrive. He was having Thanksgiving with his family in San Antonio and he was driving back. He was going straight to MD Anderson before he went home. I won’t go into those last few moments because it was overwhelming and personal. But I will say we were all praying with her favorite priest. I know she waited. She waited until all the stars were aligned and then she went, peacefully. What a blessing that was.
As I have said in previous blogs (https://kerberism.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/prayers-for-the-kaat-family/), I drove home, stopped at the Grocery Store, bought a bottle of wine, a pack of grasshopper cookies, and a thing of Gino’s Pizza Rolls and that held me for 2 days. I spent the next 36 hours in a brown leather chair in my Mom’s Living room. How wonderful that my Mom just let me be…like it is perfectly normally to have a depressed crying 35 year old in your living room chair eating grasshopper cookies and gino’s pizza rolls.
Anyway, Today (Nov 24) was 2 years. Sometimes it seems like so long ago and other times it seems like just yesterday we were laughing. There was a fantastic ceremony in Houston today to celebrate Julie’s life and that is what I tried to do all day today. To celebrate how lucky I was to have been friends for so long. I tried to smile and laugh at life as Julie tried to do.
J – my friend…see you on the other side.