It’s the time of year again where I get a little sad and melancholy. When dates and events start reminding me of my friend Rand’s passing two years ago. It stirs up some sadness and feelings of grief.
Two years ago, Love was getting ready to celebrate his 40th birthday on the 18th. So Rand and I planned a party at his house and ran around getting food and items and we had the party on Saturday, February 20th. It was nice. Love’s parents, his Aunt, my Mom, a few of Love’s friends. We had all kinds of snacks and munchies, everyone played Wii and it was just a nice day.
One week exactly after – Saturday, February 27, 2010 – we got a call from Rand’s Mom to meet them at the ER. We waited all night as he underwent open heart surgery to repair his aorta that ruptured. It was so terrifying. Touch-and-go all night. But, he survived the surgery and we all rallied, coming to the CCU day after day as they first had him sedated and then, when they stopped the sedation…and he didn’t wake up.
Until the call that came in the early morning hours of March 10, 2010. That the unthinkable had happened. That he had passed away. That he was gone.
There was always a little sadness for Rand this time of year anyway. His brother was born February 19th – different year, but the day after Love’s. And Michael had passed away over a decade ago. We always used to have to schedule Love’s birthday celebration with it in mind. Rand would always have dinner with his Mom for Micheal’s birthday. So I was thinking about Rand’s Mom and brother already this weekend, and of course, that also led me to think of Rand himself.
It’s just still so surreal to me sometimes. The way everything just changed in that one, short, week. How, on the 20th, if you had asked me if he’d be fighting for his life with the most intensive surgery imaginable seven days later, I’d have thought you were crazy. And, if you had asked me if I believed that to be the last time we’d hang out, I wouldn’t be able to fathom a reason why not.
So as February progresses and continues on towards March, I can’t help but remember two years ago and how it all just changed. And it makes me sad. I can’t help but cry a little and feel that pain again.
The rest of the year, the grief has mellowed out; I still miss him and it’s still weird sometimes to remember he’s gone, but it’s older, more familiar grief at this point. Now though, it breaks through my barriers and the healed scars on my heart and surprises me again with the fresh sadness and new tears. With Love’s birthday over and the distractions of planning for that, there’s nothing left to hold back the sadness of this time of year.
And so…Melancholy. Sad. Mourning. And feeling blue.