For as long as I roam around on earth there is a story that will play on repeat in my head. The story of how two words shattered my heart and changed my life. This is a tale I never thought I would have to tell. Yet here I stand, telling it again and again.
It is two years later and I am still picking up the pieces of that broken heart. I am trying to put it back together again but like a plate that busted as it hit the floor there are a few missing pieces that can't be found. You glue the plate back together, but it is never the same. Yes, it is usable but the cracks are visible and you know you have to be a little extra gentle each time you use it.
This is how my heart feels.
You may not be able to see the missing pieces but I can feel them and I know I need to be tender. Especially in this moments when the memories come flooding back and those two words play over and over again in my mind.
Two words that if spoken separately provoke no concern. but when you string them together everything changes. Hearts break. Worlds come crumbling down. Life as you know it becomes changed forever.
He and I stood outside the hospital room as the Doctor was talking to my parents and I didn't want to bust in and interrupt. My mom had been rushed their earlier in the day and we had little details of what was wrong. She has just battled breast cancer and my initial thought was maybe she wasn't feeling well because of the radiation. As we stood in the hallway waiting the door of the hospital room closed and my heart sank. I felt helpless and afraid.
Waiting for what felt like an eternity my mind quickly ran through every worse case possible scenario. Yet none of these scenarios prepared me for what I was about to hear. Stage four. The cancer has spread to her liver and her lungs.
I felt as if someone had completely drained the oxygen from my entire body and I was unable to breath. I stood in front of the one women who protected me my entire life and my immediate instinct was to do whatever I could to protect her. I did not want her to feel the fear that was swirling inside of me. I did not want her to know the millions of questions I had no answers to. I did not want her to see me cry. I stood there, being as brave as I could concentrating only on the next immediate moment in front of me and not letting my mom see my crumbling heart.
As we walked outside the hospital I was deflated. How could this have happened? A mere few weeks ago we just celebrated her being "cancer free". What was going on? I felt exhausted and drained.
"At least it is stage four" he said.
I looked at him quizzically. "Stage four is the worst" I replied.
And even though it was heartbreaking in that moment it was those two words that made me smile. I realized that even in the hardest of moments there is love and compassion. He just wanted to be there for me and make it better. Even though he knew he couldn't stop the pain he wanted me to know that he was there for me. As we stood next to each other I knew that I was about to face one of the hardest journey's of my life but I wasn't going to have to do it alone. Together we would navigate this newly shattered heart.