I remember nearly every detail of that day. I know what I was wearing, and I have trouble wearing those clothes now, though they float like ghosts in my closet. I remember how I felt at any given moment of that gloomy Thursday. I remember how crushing it was to finally know, after 25 days of uncertainty that I was going to lose you. Karate… I’ve whispered to the wind how sorry I am that I couldn’t save you… and I mean it.
Nurses and doctors shuffled in at random, each learning my diagnosis and not one of them knowing what to say or do to help me. Some were kind, some were cold, sterile, others just stood with their mouths hanging open trying to find words to help– there aren’t any– I’ve checked. There were no options, no discussion, and there was no saving you.
As for me, I’ve spent the last 365 days trying my best to cope without you, in the wreckage and horror that was left after that day. Grief and loss, are a moving staircase. Constantly changing, mutating, and evolving. I’ve accepted that I will never truly be “over you” and thank goodness. I’m the only one who ever held you, nothing can change that. Of everything I lost that day, that fact will always be mine. You’re the one that made me a mom, even if you couldn’t stay I am still a Mom.
Honestly, when I opened my eyes after surgery I thought it would be impossible for me to laugh, to hope and dream ever again. I feared being asked even the simplest surface question such as “How are you?” because the only answer I could grasp was “broken and lost” – that’s a little heavy for ladies room small talk with a kind coworker asking as a common courtesy.
Fast forward to present day and I’m starting to feel like me once again even if only in fractional values. In an unexpected turn of events, I really did learn some things in losing you… and finally, I feel like I’m starting to unearth some of the bits of me I thought I’d lost forever.
I feel relieved… and proud to have survived this far and that I’ve turned so much of my own pain into power and hope for myself and others. It’s a funny thing… I would never have chosen this life if it was laid before me, but Karate you’ve forced me into a better version of me. A more mindful and grateful version than the one that once existed before. I think that girl died with you, I’m certain a part of me did that day.
I plan to press on through this ever changing maze in 2018… taking the best bits and pieces of me I can. Hoping and praying for another miracle… one that the world can handle because you Karate, were obviously just way more than the world was ready for.
I found this quote the day after I lost you… I didn’t appreciate it then, I think I wanted to, but the pain was still too overwhelming. It made me smile today, now that I’m strong enough to do so. Lightning will strike again, I believe that.