The Date CollectorOn December 9, 2017 by Michelle Love
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a ‘date collector’. Just this week was the 6th. Every month, the 6th reminds me that another month that has gone by without him. I’m just sad. I miss him so much.
Today is another heavy date of remembering.
December 9th 2015, we packed up everything from his room at Duke, and traveled the 2-and-a-half hours back to Levine by Medic ambulance. Hope for a cure through the CAR-T trial was squashed. BJ was in the worst shape he’s ever been in. His abdomen was distended from all the leukemia in his organs. His breathing was labored. We were met at LCH by his oncologist and social worker, who said there was no hope left for a cure. That was one of the single-most horrible days in my life up to that day. Carly and I sat there on the bench in the room with BJ, and listened to Dr. Kaplan explain that there were 3 options. The first was “do nothing”. I was so struck by that, greatly offended and immediately defensive. I remember looking over at Carly, seeing the blank look on her face, and wondering what she was thinking. I asked her if she understood what he said, and she said “yes”. It wasn’t until after the two of them left the room that she shed any tears. She told me she didn’t want to cry in front of them. She was 11.
So today, when I saw my photos ‘from this day’ in years past, I felt the defeat again, the nausea, and burning tears started filling my eyes. I watched the video he wanted me to make of him, where he begged for prayers through short breaths. It physically hurts to see him like that, knowing that he would live just 3 more months.
Carly and I have been discussing whether or not we wanted to put up our Christmas tree. Neither one of us have been motivated to do it. We have a tree for BJ, and are planning on decorating it with Matthew’s help. But one at home, we just weren’t sure we wanted it. I think we both would rather slide through the holidays without really thinking about them. But today, with snow on the ground and huge snowflakes falling, we decided we’d decorate and put up our tree.
After it was all finished, we admired our work. Carly even said she was proud of us. I know why, and I am proud of us too.