I Still Remember Everything About That Day

October 27, 2023

We were in the living room, all cuddled together on the couch, when you told us the news that would change our lives forever. You had cancer. All of the fears from each of your doctors appointments had come to fruition. We cried. We hugged. We prayed. 

I still remember everything about that day. 

The room was bright and cold and filled with a medicinal smell. The nurses were nice and were never seen without a smile. You had a blanket on your legs and chemo streaming into an IV straight to your port. You looked too healthy to be sitting in that chair. I prayed. I think you prayed too. You never acted scared or in pain. It was the beginning of a treatment that would ultimately fail. 

I still remember everything about that day. 

We stared in beautiful gratitude at the scans that proved you were cancer free– a doctor’s report that stated you were in remission. You were healthy. You were clear. You were healed. There were so many tears, The weight that we’d been carrying for years seemed to disappear immediately. We were grateful. We were naive. We celebrated.

I still remember everything about that day.

Your voice was different. The kind of different that told me something was wrong. You stood strong and brave as you told us your cancer had returned, this time incurable. We sat at the kitchen table unable to comprehend this shift in our plans, this tragic rewrite of your future. We asked hard questions. You responded with grace and so much love. We hated the truth in the answers. We started praying for miracles. We heard your prognosis on that day but we never believed it and definitely never accepted it. 

I still remember everything about that day. 

It happened so fast. One day you’re at work, living as typical as you can with a fatal disease, showcasing your strength and resiliency. Days later we’re calling hospice and setting up a makeshift hospital room for you in our home. We’re told to prepare for your death, as if it’s just another thing to add to our to-do list. We talk to you, even when you cannot respond. We cuddle with you. We hold your hand. We tell you a million “I love you’s”. We lay with you as your breathing slows and your heartbeat fades. And you do, fade. You die.

I still remember everything about that day. 

Those harsh days. Those unthinkable memories. I still remember them all. I’m still traumatized by their sting and their limitless pain. I’m still wondering how we got here and why it had to be this way. I’m still hurting and healing from it all. 

And I still remember everything about those days. I always will. 

We love you. We miss you. We remember you. 

And the beauty in the heartbreak is that while we remember all of these unimaginable days, we remember all of the great ones too. It’s how we survive losing you. It’s how we’ll keep surviving. Remembering you, not just those days, but the priceless ones too. 

xox, Chels

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A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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