JUNE 6th

Today is the 5th Anniversary of my husband’s injury.

Five years…

Has it really been five years?

Has it only been five years?

Going back to that first day, I am amazed at how much I remember. It’s as if that day is forever frozen in my mind, my memory a camera capturing every detail. Our minds tend to do that though, absorb the significance of a tragedy. I remember the time on the clock when I got that first call, the clothes I put on to go to the hospital, the first site of him hooked to the machines. I remember every word spoken, every glance, every smell. That day stands out like a light house in a storm of mundane moments.

One beautifully vivid moment of that day was going down to the first floor and holding my newborn baby niece, Ry.

That’s right…on the very same day of JUNE 6th, in the very same hospital, my niece was born. I remember holding her, this perfect being emerging amidst the chaos, and crying.

She came into this world at the exact same time my husband was trying to leave it.

Today is Ry’s 5th birthday. Her growth over the years, her changes, her strides have marked the passing of that day which held her and my husband so delicately. There has always been this invisible bond between the two of them, between us. This kiss of something greater…

That’s what the children in our lives do for us. They remind us that life really does go on. In that first year after the injury, we saw K attend his first day of kindergarten, play in his first soccer game and lose his first tooth. We watched T take his first steps, say his first words, and grow his first tooth. The wonders of life found them even when we weren’t looking, even when our eyes were fixed on brain injury. I used to fear my husband wouldn’t be there for any of it. And truthfully, he admits that first year of milestones is a blur.

The day of JUNE 6th has become the dividing point between one life and the next. It is the day we compare what was to what is, what used to be to what will never be. Every memory before that day has the letters “b.a.” attached to it; before accident.

As I sift through pictures of our family “b.a.” it feels like another life. A part of me wishes I could speak to those people in the photos and warn them, or at least remind them to enjoy every moment together because JUNE 6th is coming.

I don’t really know how I feel about this anniversary. In one way I am grateful for that day to be so far behind us, yet in another way I am realistic knowing that it will always be a part of us.

But I imagine we all have a JUNE 6th; a day that stands out in our minds as ‘the day that changed everything.’

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