June 16, 2018
Today I have reached another marker on this journey, I have lived one and half years without Kenny. I am in awe that I made it this far, I almost cant believe it. I don’t want to believe it.
I often think of the day Kenny died, it plays in my head like a movie on repeat. I can remember everything about that day, and up to the point he died it was not a bad day. I know some might think that is weird, we were in a hospital, Kenny was going into surgery, it was right before Christmas not the best time to be super sick, we were both missing class, hadn’t we endured enough sick stuff and it was the day he died. Yes to all of those facts but I have other great memories of that day.
I remember coming in early to the hospital to hang out with Kenny, how he was so happy to see me! I usually stayed the nights with him but since we were so close to home I didn’t this time and it was different for us. We had adjusted to living out out of hospital rooms together and to be honest we loved being together all the time. I would have happily stayed despite being so close to home but Kenny wanted me to get a good nights sleep, he wanted it to be easy on me, he was always worried about me. I remember I was reading a book with my feet propped up on his bed and pressed against his calf because it was cold in his room and my feet needed to be warmed up. I looked up at one point to see him laughing about something he was watching on TV. I can see his head thrown back, hear his deep belly laugh, and that smile of his! He looked over at me and I remember thinking how good he looked, I didn’t see the hospital johnny, the IV’s, I just saw my Kenny and my heart just swelled with all the love I had for him. I love that part of the day, and I wish my memories would just stop there.
They don’t though and the rest of my memories of that day are horrific. They are seared into my brain and will forever haunt me. One and half years ago my whole life imploded around me, without notice and I was left in the rubble.
I am here though, I am alive.
The last 547 days are filled with so much pain, anger, sadness, hurt, disbelief, anguish, misery, distress and suffering. I will never be able to fully capture in words what hell I have slogged through to be here today. I carried on, I could not leave all the suffering behind. It was not like a pack I could just slip off and place down never to be thought of again. It has become part of me, I am forever changed by December 16, 2016 and all that I sustained. It also isn’t over, this pack will continue to grow, not as rapidly as at the start of this journey but it still has room in it.
I also encountered so much compassion, kindheartedness, patience, tolerance, understanding, generosity, sympathy, affection, empathy, affection, and love. I could write forever and still not tell all the stories of those who came along side me and were there. Some were there for long parts of the journey, others only for a bit, some while I sobbed in their arms, other times when I needed to scream out the anger, some were there when I laughed and made new happy memories, others when I had to mark milestones with anguish, some were there in the forefront and others quietly in the rear. What matters though is that they were there, they met me when I came to the end of the rubble that was once my life and put my feet on this new path. Just like I cant slip off the burdens of this journey like I pack I also cant place down all the good from this journey, they are mingled together and rightfully so. You can’t have one without the other. There is also an endless ocean of love for me to keep drawing from.
So here I am one and half years later. I am a totally different woman, and for a long time I struggled with that. I wanted to be the old me, I didn’t want to change because in my mind that meant Kenny was only farther away. But that is not true, Kenny is truly never far away. I take with me all the important parts of our life; the relationship Kenny helped me to form with God, my faith, the memories we created, the dreams we were pursuing, and our love that not even death can end.
I take all of those parts of my old life, all the bad and all the good I earned during this journey and they are the foundation that I am using to build this new life. I am not very far in the construction of this new life and I have a feeling it will be an ongoing project until the day I die. Along the way there will be new materials to use and the blue print i have in mind might not even be reflected in the end result. I have faith thought that God knows exactly what it will be, I know Kenny will be there with me always, and I lean on the fact that I will never build alone, I am surrounded by so much love.