I apologize in advance if this is poorly written, it comes straight from my heart and I have choose not to edit it. Warning, this is a very sad story. love, Jen
As I drove home tonight from yoga it occurred to me, how could I forget, it's a year ago this weekend that this whole journey V and I are on started.
One year ago this weekend I walked into the ICU with V to see his coworker who had a very serious accident at work and (long story short) I ran into a very old friend whom I'd long lost touch with. From out of no where she called out to me, I turned around (not yet knowing it was her) and saw her crying so hard. She barely whispered "Jen, it's Jamie.....she's dying, all the family are on the way, we need you."
Here's the thing, I'd long lost touch with all these people years ago, they were my childhood friends and we'd simply lost touch. Within hours Jamie's mom, aunt and sister where in from around the state and the country. Soon all of her family would assemble. I was unsure if anyone would recognize me, I'd try to meet their gaze as they walked up to me, each of them knew immediately who I was and would literally cry out "Jen" and fall into my arms. These are people who saw me through my worst times of childhood. Jamie's sister had gone into the army and served two tours in Iraq, the rest of her siblings had moved across the country, we all simply grew apart. Now, sadly, we were being slammed back together. I know with out a ounce of doubt that God himself put me in that hospital that night.
I don't actually recall how V got home that night, what he ate or did for days, from the moment I heard my friend say "we need you" I did not leave the hospital but for a moment to run home, shower and nap for a few hours during the night when we weren't allowed at Jamie's bedside.
Eventually the long weekend would end, I attempted to go to work on on what I can only assume was Tuesday. My boss, being the amazing man he was understood I needed a moment's distraction but would leave at a moments notice. And I did, after 3 or 4 days (what seemed like months) on life support, Jamie had failed the final test, she was legally, officially dead. Her soul no longer inhibited her body and they were going to take the machines off of her and allow her to go. My dear childhood friend called me pleading for me to return to the hospital (only that morning she pleaded with me to go to work it would be ok). Thank you Jesus the hospital was only minutes away.
I don't actually recall falling to the floor at work in tears (a coworker was so concerned she didn't want me to drive) or calling my mother-in-law to my side for support. I remember speeding to the hospital, parking and running as fast a my legs could carry me to the ICU where Jamie would pass.
The waiting room had been full, literally full of her friends and coworkers (Jamie was in the Army National Guard and had a VERY bright future ahead of her). It was only a matter of minutes after my return that it was official by the hospital's standards. Just when you don't think you can cry anymore it hurts like it's brand new.
I don't know how many days went by before I had to drive to my hometown (just a few hours away yet a lifetime since I have not returned there in almost a decade) for her funeral. The funeral home overflowed with people, Jamie was only 21 but it felt like the town had to shut down in order for everyone to observe her fair well. Hundreds of people gathered.
In the days, weeks and months that passed I began to asses my life more closely. V and I had wanted children but more on a "in a few years" timeline, maybe after we had a house etc. Until Jamie died. You see up until then I had only lost my grandfather, he was old and sick and it was his time, sure it hurt but not like this. No one expected Jamie to die. Suddenly my eyes were open to how brief our existence is, how little control we really have. Suddenly I wanted children now. I let my new feelings linger for a while, V and I had many talks to make sure I wasn't acting out of fear but true desire. V had always wanted children, since he's almost 10 years older than me it was always up to me and on my timeline when we had them. We agreed to wait until Christmas to start trying and we weren't going to tell anyone.
You changed my life forever Jamie, you are still so missed.