things i know

Dear Mutty.


Its already the 4th anniversary of your second liver transplant.

Tomorrow marks year number four. So many things have changed since you have been gone.

“Did you really want to die?”
“No one commits suicide because they want to die.”
“Then why do they do it?”
“Because they want to stop the pain.”
― Tiffanie DeBartolo, How to Kill a Rock Star

I think back to those days of high intensity and stress. The misery and joy in it.

I remember that day… the family room conversation with them. Dr. Chinny and his words: “She has a 1% chance of surviving the surgery and we hope better than a zero percent chance of surviving recovery.”

My answer – not that one was needed – “I believe we are here to learn, and here to teach. If she doesn’t make it through, then she has completed all she came here to do.” I said it with as much confidence as if I were commenting on the color of my shirt. I still believe it. I still KNOW it. It resonates from that part of my soul that just knows things. The doctor cried. But not me. I just knew you would be okay.

This question of “Why?” isn’t true for me. I don’t think about if you really wanted to die. I knew you really wanted to live. But not like this. Not all broken and hopeless. And if you had to live all broken and hopeless, then you didn’t want to live at all… and call me weak… but I get it.

I remember the conversation when you said to me “If I died now, would you be okay, Mom?” “Sure.” i said. “But you’re not going to die.”

“You don’t know that.” I argued back and said “i do Heather. Its a rule. i get to go first.” I still hate him for this. I still hate him for turning his back on his own tests he KNEW were true… yet he bought their Kool-aid and guzzled it up because he… he was in it for the prestige. Weak men should not be able to be key people in situations that require balls and a backbone to stand by their own truths. And men without compassion should be shot.

Your tone though in that conversation. That conversation was peaceful.

This was some time between the headaches that crushed you and the crushing day of realization that your care team didn’t believe you.

…and you said “When your care team stops believing in you, what’s left?” Tears rolled down your cheeks. I knew you were tired. So weary.

What’s left? I was left. Battle worn and tattered. Shattered bone and soul. Literally. I was left. We were left. We may have been ragged and still breathing at best… and shit… life was shit… but I would have given every single ounce of me and walked with you thru whatever needed to be faced just to have you here. I would have found a way to keep us going.

Then sometimes I think this is how it was suppose to be all along… and I can’t blame you. Because when your fighting for your life… how are you suppose to fight for your care team to believe in you too? and in the end… in the end they didn’t even know what MCAS meant because each of those fuckers were too fucking proud to read the 13 page report.

I still talk to you every day. I know you know. I know you’re here. Or there.

So much has changed.

Jason said that I have come so far in my grief journey. I still have a little further to go. I didn’t have the wit to tell him that this grief journey would end with the exhalation of my last breath and not one second before. You lose a child and it is a lifetime grief sentence.

You lose a parent and you learn to fill in those gaps.  Because as you age, Heather, your life gets busy with kids and family and life stuff… And life stuff revolves around the sweet little bundles that can cause you so much angst… that grow into big bundles that grow into bigger angst.

But when you lose a child… there is nothing that can fill in the gap. The void. Its just always there.

Its that space of where you used to be.

“I’m fine. Well, I’m not fine – I’m here.”
“Is there something wrong with that?”
― Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story

You were tired and weary. Broken body and will.

I still miss you.

I love you, Mutty. So much, I love you.

Love, Mom

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