a few weeks ago

3/23/2015. Tonight, like every night, I put down my daughter, waited till I knew the last escape attempt had been foiled, and go retrieve my infant son from mommy. Kathryn breaks his latch and waits awkwardly while I position myself to scoop him up. I wrap him in a blanket while he’s pinned to my chest and we move to his room. There I sway and archive a few emails – automated error reports from the day – and catch up Joel on the medical stuff with my dad. I make a joke about the heart attack that didn’t happen. I’m stoic about the cancer and lack of clarity on extent. I admit I feel numb. I recount the feelings around last Christmas – the way mom and dad were overly generous to the point of being extravagant. How it felt to me like they wanted to create this magical memory for us and the grand kids. How I calmly walked into the bathroom and sobbed bitterly, washed my face, and came back out to chat idly and help ruby play with her new toys and not hurt her brother. How now I am at peace with the feelings I have and expect there to be cycles. How it’s just a lot. And my mind roamed to explaining this to my coworkers and wondering how I explain this to them. How I wept when learning one was leaving. How I’d been focusing on emotional safety and rallying around your coworkers when times are tough. How work life balance was a major focus this year as “we don’t care as long as you get your work done” isn’t good enough for my team. How I just want to take care of them but end up needing the most care. How this is all happening right at crunch time when I might be needed most. How during out last review, I’d estimated the time and resources it would take to replace me if I were hit by a bus.

I wish I’d been hit by a bus.

And I sob uncontrollably while holding my infant son, waves of sorrow coming out of my mouth like a shout being squeezed through my closed throat as I hold my breath. Gus doesn’t wake up. I’ve done my job. I set him down in the pack and play, slowly recoil, and sneak out of the room.


About joeldart

I am a 34 year old software developer living in Indianapolis, IN.
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