I always forget how hard March is, until the memories of my part are uprooted from my subconscious. I have been upset, the last few days, but unaware as to why. I get in these moods where I want to be in a good mood but can’t, for reasons I can’t put my finger on, until they are staring me in my glossy tear infested eyes. I wore grey yesterday, the color of medulloblastoma awareness: I wore pink today, her favorite color. I checked Facebook to do an update for work, and there it was, the first thing on my feed. Stella would have turned five today.
She passed away April 3rd, 2012. We drove down for her funeral were in town about 48 hours drove home and went to church for Easter Sunday.
Jake was in my German class sixth period. I attended the visitation Sunday March 27th after begging my mom to let me go. I don’t remember exactly how long I stood in line with Kasey Gifford, Lauren Hart, and Jack Parr, but I remember the sound the man in front of us made when he saw Jake. The sound that can only be understood by the tears it brings to your already wet face, and the chills on your already cold arms. I wouldn’t have made it through the visitation if it hadn’t been for Jack, who let me cry on his shirt, and spoke to Jacob’s dad when all I could sputter out was, “I’m so sorry”. As his dad reassured us of the comfort that comes with knowing Jacob is with God, having been very much a believer. I went home and packed my things for the next day’s “adventure”. Mary Dunlap had received word of my soon departure, and picked Meghan and I up for Starbucks, where we spent what seemed to be hours talking about what was to come for me. Being accustomed to these kinds of talks, I realized how short this conversation actually way.
March 28th, I sign all the required forms, and require the same of my teachers as I get lots of confused looks and sad departure hugs. Sixth Period comes. The tears come, as a councilor has been designated to sit in our class because of the events that have taken place over the past week. We all wait for her to leave, and our community takes a collective sigh of relief when she does. The tears flow, and tissue boxes are passed, no one ashamed of the snot dripping from our faces or the mascara under our eyes. We share stories about Jake, and the class end. I say goodbye to Jack, and go to my last ever class in Conway Public School District.
I always loved by last two classes of the day due to the community we all shared with each other.
Mrs. Bowden informed me toward the end of class that I had to finish paperwork and would not be allowed to finish out the class period. I shouldn’t have been surprised by this premature closure of time: it’s pretty standard for my life. I fill out paperwork, and the final bell rings. I frantically try to find my friends to say ‘goodbye’, the fear of being ripped from this moment pulsing in my core. More tears, mom and Meghan come to say goodbye, dad picks me up, he and I leave the state.
March 28th, I sit in another councilor’s office, plan out my schedule, wait for it to process, take a tour of the school where I am shown where my classes will be, then go to class. A new day: a new life. An empty room with an air mattress, a mini fridge filled with food for a few days, living out of two boxes. March 31st we go back to pick up Meghan, I go to an ROTC Ball with Eamonn, Callie, and Zach then spend the night with her.
Handout with friends April 3rd, and go back to my new world.
Mom joins us the 10th, and so does the rest of our things.
I think I’m done crying today, I can only hope, as I prepare for class within the hour. I wear pink to remember Stella. I have covered my grief with makeup that I asked myself why I was even putting on because it will just come off when I start crying: I do it because I can’t dwell on the sorrows of my life. I will be celebrating three years in Texas on the 29th, along with all the blessing God has given me over the last one thousand ninety-five or so days. Everything happens for a reason, and I’m going to love the way Stella did, and laugh the way Jake did, all for the glory of God.