I went to therapy today. It was quite interesting. I discussed many things; one of which was the discovery that this Mother's Day marks the 39-year anniversary of the exact date that my father died. For those of you keeping track... I am 39 years old... he died when I was six weeks old.
This is difficult to think about, let alone commit to writing; but I'm going to do the best I can.
I didn't realize the exactness of this upcoming holiday/anniversary until it was recently brought to my attention. My initial internal response was to be a bit irritated, then I felt angry, then I felt sheer and utter panic. As a matter of fact, I found myself on the business-side of a full-blown panic attack yesterday but still didn't understand where everything was coming from... until I discussed things with my therapist today.
I almost died. Not only that... I almost died on the same day my twin daughters were born. I nearly missed seeing them grow up. I was on the cusp of never seeing another day, let alone another Mother's Day; the same holiday that took my own father. My babies were so close to living their lives without me... The same way that fate saw to my living without my father. They were less than a day old; I was 6-weeks old. How would they have known my love, my affection, my direction, my care, my teachings, my humor... me? I can ask these questions because I live them.
I almost died.
I. Almost. Died.
The severity of knowing how truly close I came to death is almost too much to even acknowledge. I lost more blood than my body can hold... I lost 8 liters of blood... Liters. I could feel my life slipping away, I can recall the feelings of knowing that I wasn't going to make it, as if it were yesterday. In those moments time stood still while everything around me spun in a whirlwind. I can vividly recall the eyes of those around me. I almost died, and I remember those moments so well. It's a scary, lonely feeling.
It's very difficult to not dwell on those moments, especially when life keeps offering me parallels to everything I went through. But I was a fighter then and I remain a fighter still. I'm trying my best to take the blessings and teachings from those moments; from the second chance I was given and make the best of things.
What do I gain from understanding why I slipped into such panic and heightened emotional response at the mention of the death anniversary? I'm gaining a better sense of self. Admittedly, these moments hurt like hell and I do my best to still mask them behind my sense of humor because it's the only way I know how to persevere. Yet, I'm facing them instead of running; regardless of how badly I want to strap on my proverbial track shoes.
Truth is, I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm meant to be here for a reason, if nothing else than to offer to my children the things that weren't granted to me; namely... having TWO loving parents. Is this shade on my upbringing?... not at all. If my life weren't the way it was/is, I wouldn't be the person I am today. This is simply about acknowledging my feelings as they relate to this date [Sunday, May 13th] the day that changed my life forever.
I almost died...
but I'm still here.