There’s a part of me that wishes I could skip this day. Not even give it a second thought. To skip the anxiety, trauma, and PTSD, that has haunted me every day since. Jacob told me last night that he thinks about the best days, like Gabe’s last day of chemo, and when we got the call that Gabe was cancer-free instead of Diagnosis Day.
But there’s no parental handbook on how to deal with the aftermath. No charts or lists, or anything else that can tell you how to think, what to say, or how to heal.
You can’t put the puzzle pieces back the way they were. Because some pieces have grown, some are broken, and some have bandages covering wounds in various stages of healing. It will never be the same.
Time doesn’t make it easier. It just makes it easier for everyone else. Time just reminds you of who you were before and who you are after.
But you know what? It’s okay. I don’t want to be the same person I was then. I’m stronger now. More determined. I don’t let petty drama bother me. I know who loves me and wants to be in my life and who doesn’t.
I could make a list of ways that I’ve changed, how our family has changed. But God hasn’t. He’s still holding us all together. Still fighting for us, and still loving us.
I don’t know if the trauma, PTSD, and anxiety will ever go away for me. I don’t know if I can ever think of this day and not have all the emotions and memories flood my mind. But each time I tell someone Gabe’s story, and they say how much he inspires them, well, that helps me heal a little more. And that’s what I will focus on today. Even though I would rather hide in bed instead of packing up my store, I’m going to focus on the fact that it’s been FIVE years.
Five years since Diagnosis Day.
Five years of people hearing his story and being changed.
Five years of healing.