Friday, August 19, 2011

August 18th, 2010

People who know me well will tell you that I have a thing for dates. As in dates on a calendar. As in I remember them.

For example, I passed in my application for the Bachelor of Education Programme on Friday, January 14th, 2011. I got the phone call telling me I had been accepted on Tuesday, March 8th.

“Ahhh,” you may say, “those seem to be dates of some significance.”

And you’re right, they are. But, I remember other dates as well. For example, I got my hair cut yesterday and the time before that was Wednesday, May 11th.

I’m telling you all this because some people may roll their eyes when I say that I will never forget Wednesday, August 18th, 2010. They’ll think of things like what I wrote above. But I mean it. I will never forget that day. It holds the title of “The Worst Day of My Life” thus far.

My Nan had been sick for quite a while. Pretty much the entire summer. On August 3rd (a Tuesday) she was admitted to the local hospital for day surgery. Meaning she was supposed to return home that day. Well, she didn’t come home until October 15th.

Long story short, she had a hole in her large intestine and her whole body was being poisoned. On August 17th, my Nan was transported to the hospital in Fredericton for an emergency surgery that would take place late that night.

Early the next morning, August 18th, my aunt called me and told me that Nan ended up having an ileostomy and her spleen was removed. She was on life support and they didn’t know if she would make it. I wasn’t allowed to see her because I wasn’t “immediate” family.

At the time, I was the Summer Reading Club Coordinator at the local library and that day was the final party to celebrate the children’s reading success. So, I put on a smile and went to work, where I threw a luau complete with palm trees, leis, and Tiki masks.

I drove home on my lunch break and things got worse. There was a message on my phone from my Dad’s girlfriend asking me to “please, please call her as soon as possible.” I was standing in the kitchen when I called her. She said that my Dad had had a heart attack the night before. I collapsed against the counter and howled and cried.

Finally, I calmed down enough to learn that because she wasn’t related, no one would tell her anything other than that he was taken to the hospital in St. Stephen and would probably be transferred to Saint John. She had no idea what his condition was. (Here is probably a good time for me to tell you that Dad is a truck driver and was in the truck when this happened).

Let me remind you: I was home alone. Within just a few hours I had been told that my Nan was on life support and my Dad had had a heart attack. That’s all I knew. I could have lost it. I probably should have. But, I didn’t (at least, not until that night).

I pulled myself together, made many phone calls, and went back to work. (It was either return to work and stay busy or stay at home and cry because I had no way of seeing either Dad or Nan). The next few days (and even weeks and months) were some of the most stressful I have ever experienced.

I won’t keep you in suspense; the story has a happy ending. My Nan and Dad are okay. Their lifestyles are different than what they were this time last year, but they’re alive. For that, I am grateful and I love them and appreciate them both more than ever.

I may not be able to explain how I remember the date of the last time I ate black forest cake (April 3rd, 2011), but now you know why I will never forget what happened on August 18th, 2010.


  1. This is beautiful honey!
    Love you,

  2. I admire your strength, your an amazing person! Cool that you remember dates!


  3. I remember dad calling me and telling me about Sandra, but I don't remember dates like you. All I remember is it was last summer and it seemed like FOREVER til she was home again.


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