I wanted to look at my hands. I wanted to study my feet. I wanted to stare at the ceiling.
I looked at their faces.
I had somehow (on purpose) squeezed my way into the corner behind Cortney.
Squeezed is an understatement.
I don’t think exam rooms are meant to hold 12+ people. And this one? Was freezing.
I’m starting to forget him. I haven’t ever said that before. But it’s true. I can remember everyone else from those visits, but I am losing his face.
I know he was sitting on the exam table.
But what I remember are the looks on his sisters’ and brothers’ and parents’ and children’s faces.
The walls were white and it was cold. Until the news came that he wasn’t going to get better. Then? I couldn’t stop sweating. I was the thousand degree corner of the room. Behind my fiance. I was there because I was told I was part of the family. But I felt like such an interloper.
I only knew him for just over a year. Not my whole life. Not like everyone else in that room.
The doctor gave numbers. A time span.
I saw the math happening in people’s eyes. He would not be there to walk his daughter down the aisle. He would not be there to see his son marry a girl who was already part of the family. He would not meet any grandchildren. He would not outlive his parents.
And I? I was sweating.
Why was I here? This was not real. This doesn’t happen in REAL life. Shouldn’t I be sitting on my couch watching this unfold to some characters on a TV show and not to real people that I know…who are going to be my family?
Tissues started to be handed out. None came to me. I was wiping my nose and eyes on my sleeve. No one noticed. My runny nose was not the issue today.
I felt eyes. Cort’s aunt was looking at me. Into me. Or through me.
And then she wasn’t. Her eyes had moved on.
The walls were so white. There was an ironic picture of a boat on Lake Michigan on the wall.
I was still sweating. But shivering.
The only face I can visualize is that from the pictures we have…either formal or sick. No real life images.
He is slipping from me. Even though I feel like I never really had him.
He is here. I know it. And Eddie knows it. I think Eddie knows him. I think they have met.
Has it really been five years?
Yes. It has been five years. And I am losing him in one form, and gaining him in another.
**And Read Cort’s Sis, MacKenzie’s post about him (and their adoption process) at Stepping Stones.**