I remember when my sister came in my room crying, she came to wake me up to tell me that my uncle had a heart attack and passed away.
I remember waking up to Christmas morning and my father not being there—the family trying to tell us he will be there next Christmas.
I remember going to the emergency room because I had such a severe upper respiratory infection that I couldn’t breathe.
I remember the relief I felt when I pulled into my parents driveway after 15 hours of travel. I remember the emptiness that enveloped me when I realized my father was no longer there.
I remember the smell of the soil as we covered the top of the shoebox and laid it to rest forever in the earth. The neighbor boy sarcastically laid down dandelions as I tried to piece together, in my mind, why it had not made it through the night. Goodbye, calico bunny.
I remember the phone call, my young brother's voice trembling across the line as he tried to watch through the chair legs at what was going on in the other room. A feeling that I would not know how to handle; the denial that would send me running from the emergency room in a frenzy.
I remember the feeling—the feeling of not being able to breathe as I continued to jump for the surface. Jumping harder then I ever jumped before, trying with every gasp of air to yell for help, thinking that with everyone that was around, no one would save me.
I remember that my mom's bed was made when I left a pile of my dad's emails on it. They were to another woman.
I remember spending everyday at the hospital that summer. The teardrops that left my mother's eyes carried the feelings of failure and disappointment and shoved them in my face.