Back in early November, 2002, a couple of friends and I were driving back to our college after a night of swing dancing in San Francisco. We were laughing and having a good time when we passed a billboard for breast cancer awareness. On the pink background was a beautiful purple butterfly and the words, "Daddy, did Mommy like butterflies?"
It broke my heart. And I proclaimed right then, "I can't imagine losing my mom. I am pretty sure I would just cease to exist."
All of us in the car were quiet for a few moments, until a friend said -- hey, don't worry, that's not going to happen to you.
Except it did. Two days later. I lost my mom.
It was terrible.
Well, that's a gross understatement. It was beyond terrible, something you can only understand if you know this pain. To keep it simple, let me say that it hurt. A lot. And then it hurt some more.
And many times throughout that first year or two I thought those words I had said -- that I would cease to exist -- might come true. Or I wished they would.
But the thing is this: I didn't cease to exist. Life continued on and eventually I learned how to embrace that. Fully.
So, the topic for today is: The thing you are most afraid of? Easy. Having to go through that again with someone who is so incredibly close to me. Because I am afraid I would cease to exist...
The truth is, I know I wouldn't. I know I would find a way through. I just also know I don't want to have to test that theory.