This is one of those heavy posts that most people won't know what to do with. Just so you know.
And that's OK for me. I still need to write it.
April, for me, is a grim, stomach-achey kind of month.
In April of 2007, a couple days from now, my dad attempted suicide. It's not that the prior times weren't bad, but this was the most extreme.
I got there in time to see them carrying him to the ambulance. The police officers told me that the EMTs had gotten him breathing immediately, that they'd put a trach tube in.
We spent a long, long time that night in the emergency room. We signed a waiver saying we understood the risks, which included brain damage and death, of taking out the temporary tube and putting in a longer-term one.
He was pale and cold and his eyes were open, but blank.
They said we should assume there was brain damage. That they would assess the extent of it if he woke up.
If became when, and he did wake up. Agitated. Angry.
And then what they didn't know was if his trachea had been crushed. It was a long time until he could breathe on his own. Till he wasn't on all kinds of tubes.
It was a long, terrible time. It wrecked us.
Ultimately he got better. And he got out. He wasn't fixed - it's not something neatly fixable - but he was better.
And we were always scared. Always ready.
So last April, right around this time, when my mom called, I knew. And I knew what to do.
But just because you know what to do doesn't mean you're ever prepared for how you feel.
While that panic has worn off, while I don't live every day afraid, while I can now hear the phone ring without flinching, I'm still well aware of what day it is.
And I still hate April.