My alarm was set for 4am. I was going to start running before getting done for work with Nicole. My phone rings at 3:50. I get up and run to the phone, not wanting to wake the boys, thinking my alarm went off. I see it’s Nicole calling. Oh no, she’s not going to bail on me! I had to psyche myself up to do this.
Nicole: Kim, the hospital phoned. Apparently Mommy isn’t doing well. They say we must come through.
That’s it. I just said okay. I am breathing funny. I struggle to wake Mark. My heart is pounding in my chest and I think about yesterday. I was going to visit you in the hospital but it was Sunday and the boys needed to be bathed and fed and had to be in bed by 8pm. Besides, Daddy went. He says you’re doing fine.
Mark is awake, we dress in a hurry, I get the boys up and dress them. They’re groggy and can’t understand why they’re up so early. Matthew asks if it’s his birthday yet. We speed up to Daddy them, they’re ready, just finishing a cup of coffee.
The drive to the hospital seems so long. I wonder all the time what went wrong, why did the hospital phone? Daddy seems nervous and scared. I think it’s rubbing off on all the children as well. We get to the hospital, we all jump out of the van but as much as we’re hurrying to get inside and see you, we’re also going slowly, I suppose to delay the inevitable news coming.
ICU. We get there and ring the bell. Daddy asks to see you. We wait. They make us wait a bit more. A nurse comes out. She doesn’t smile, we should’ve known. I think we all understood what was happening when they ushered us to the family room and not to go see you. I can’t remember the words the nurse used. I remember Daddy breaking down, I remember Madison crying, Nicole trying not to, Mark putting his arm around me, me putting my arm around Daddy. I remember the nurses face and how I felt so sorry for her. That she was the one to give us the news and having to deal with a grieving family. I know it’s her job but it’s still a kak job.
They take us in to see you. Everyone goes in. I hesitate by the door. I’m scared of what I’ll see. I’m scared of how I’ll feel. I’m scared to see Daddy crying. I don’t know how I’ll handle it. I take a deep breath and go into the room. Daddy is by your side, holding your hand, Nicole is at the foot of the bed, looking very solemn. Aunty Des is here, she’s crying. Mark and the kids are still in the family room, they wouldn’t allow the kids in. I go to your other side, I can feel everyone’s eyes on me. I look at you, I touch your hand. You look like you’re sleeping. So peaceful. I can’t deal, I kiss your cheek and leave the room. Regret fills me. I should’ve just come see you last night…..
This was the day you died. A year has passed and it hasn’t gotten any easier to deal with. There is a void in our lives and it’s clear you’re missing. Daddy is still dealing with the grief and I don’t know how to help him. There were birthdays, Easter, Christmas, your wedding anniversary, all days we missed you most.
On Matthew’s first day of Grade R at school, we’re sitting in the hall waiting for them to get the day started. Matthew is nervous, and probably worried about his first day, meeting new friends, getting along with his teacher. He’s sitting next to me and we’re waiting for Mark to come in from parking the car. He looks at me and he says “Mommy, I miss ma. Why did ma have to die?” I just looked at him, not knowing how to answer. Thinking how you would’ve been there with us, sitting in that hot hall, waiting with Matthew, hugging and kissing him, comforting him and telling him that everything will be okay.
We miss you. Every single day. It’s only been a year.