October 7th is one of those days that I both dread and look forward to every year.
I was eleven years old, and at a BYU Women's soccer game that night. My competitive soccer team had been chosen to be the ball girls at that night's game. For any eleven year old girl obsessed with soccer, this had to have been the greatest honor of all time. I was all too giddy with excitement as my best friend and teammate's mom picked me up and drove us down to the game.
Mom had been sick for a while, so I didn’t take any extra time to say a special goodbye. You know, because most eleven year olds shouldn’t have to worry about saying goodbye to their mom for the last time. Most eleven year olds’ biggest worry should be getting to the BYU Women’s soccer game on time.
It wasn’t long after halftime when my coach came up behind me and told me that our nanny was there to take me home. Lindsey’s face looked red and splotchy, but I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t think much of anything, in fact, until we had been sitting in the car in silence for several minutes. (Interesting, I think, how both peaceful and unnerving silence can be. One of those paradoxes of life, I guess…)
When we pulled up to my house there were a lot of cars outside. Cars that usually I would be very excited to see. Grandma’s car, my aunt’s and uncle’s cars, family friends’ cars. But I wasn’t excited to see these cars this time. I think it was then that I knew what was going on. The next few moments were--as well-worn as it may sound--a blur. But eventually I made it into my parent’s room, where my dad, brother, and sister were surrounding Mom’s bed.
It’s been twelve years since she passed away. I have now lived longer without my mom than I have with her. Which was really emotionally taxing on me this year as the anniversary of her death came. Like I said earlier, October 7th is one of those days that I both dread and look forward to every year.
Dread because I relive that day from twelve years ago and I cry. A lot. The ugly, can’t-breathe, poor-best-friend’s-shirt-is-soaked, gives-you-a-headache cry.
Look forward to because every year, on October 8th, I wake up (albeit eyes slightly puffy) and I do whatever it is that day has in store for me.
The thing is, is that every October 8th, I’m okay. We’re all okay. October 8th tells me that, although October 7th sucked really bad, I am capable of doing hard things. And that’s not to say that I can’t be sad while doing hard things, but that I can do them. We all can do them.