You know how some events in your life are so BIG that you can never quite forget them? No matter what? You can still clearly see images from that time? Remember your emotions? Smell those same smells? Vaguely see the world as it went by while you were focused on THE EVENT?
The THING could be intensely joyous, or incredibly sad. It could make your heart feel like it's going to burst with happiness or break with sorrow? And in the end your mind always goes back to the thing that you learned from what happened?
I've been thinking about this a lot today. Three sparks of memory. Entertwined. Hearts.
I clearly remember waking up on Easter morning and finding police in my house. I remember wondering WHY there were police in my house and feeling uneasy. I remember looking over at my grandparents (wondering why they were there) and knowing that something was seriously wrong just by looking at them. I remember them (the adults-both my grandparents and the police) telling me that my mom was dead. I remember not believing them in my head, but yet believing them in my heart even though I didn't want to. I vaguely remember packing a bag and being escorted around the house by police officers. I clearly remember the blood outside. So much blood. Trails of blood. Pools of blood. I don't remember my Easter basket. I remember adults whispering. Always whispering. And then I remember my grandmothers wailing. I remember making the connection that that sound that was coming out of her mouth mirrored the hurt that I felt in my heart. And that my mom's heart was no longer beating at all. That was all so many years ago. So many years ago. But I still remember.
Just like I still remember watching John's heart almost stop beating when he was in utero.
Even though it doesn't seem like that happened to me (to us), it did. If I think about that whole situation long enough, without any interruptions I still break down crying, and my heart alternately breaks and SWELLS.
I still remember getting the diagnosis of monoamniotic twins. I still remember trying to take each day one at a time and counting through almost 3 monthly calendar pages. I recall the loneliness. The alienation. The pessimism AND optimism. Somedays my memories are so vivid. Somedays it seems so fuzzy and long ago. But every day, I'm still grateful. And thankful. Even though my heart did an aweful lot of wailing and rejoicing.
My father in law had a heart transplant a few years ago. It was a terribly scary time, but it was also a time filled with memories and conversations that my husband holds dear.