Today is January 15th, 2014. It started off like a normal Wednesday.
Wake up, feed the cats, drink coffee, get dressed, go to work. Find two sweet text messages from my siblings telling me that they love me. It was a nice way to start the morning.
Then work…wasn’t too bad. People were friendly. It was a nice breezy day for me. Something in my stomach felt sick, though, when I ate my lunch. I chalked it up to too much dressing on my salad.
I joked, I smiled, I listened to music. When I left work I called my mom. She was so excited to hear from me, and kept telling me how happy she was that I called today.
I spent the next few hours at home, playing on the internet and reading over some of my notes. I ate dinner with my roommate, then at 9:15, I went to work out with a friend.
It was a good workout. Five minutes of jokes and arguing, twenty minutes of actual working out, then thirty minutes of cooling down and chatting.
We talked about the future, and what we hoped to accomplish this year. We talked about our families, and how fortunate we are to have such crazy caring people in our lives. We considered moving together, three of us in a house with a circus of animals. I’m still not sold on the idea, but we’ll see what happens.
At 11:00pm, it hit me. My heart stopped, and the tears began. I had forgotten the worst day of my life.
It’s been ten years, ten painful, heartbreaking, awful, terrifying years, since my brother died. He’d been sick for two months, stuck in the ICU. It had broken each of us in ways we never knew we could hurt. Each year that passed, brought the pain back. It took me years to understand my survivor’s guilt.
Every year, though, we call each other. We connect and remind each other that we’re still a family, and we still love each other. I forgot, though. I just brushed off my brother’s text message that morning. He only sends a message like that on January 15th.
I drove home and collapsed on the floor, sobbing too hard to explain to my roommate what was wrong with me. How could I have forgotten? How did I manage to have a good day, when ten years ago I was begging God to take me instead? The sickness I felt from forgetting today overpowered the grief I felt every other day. I really was just as selfish as my sister said.
I can’t believe I forgot.