We strategically planned it that way.
Thad asked me out on another first date and I reluctantly agreed to start over. He brought flowers and mailed love letters and really just made it his sole mission to melt my heart.
And melt my heart he did.
At the end of October, I was as smitten as I had ever been and before I knew it, we were saying goodbye again as we went our separate ways for Christmas break.
This Christmas break would forever alter the way that I looked at life.
I walked in the back door, black v-neck sweater and bootcut jeans. I was twenty, a sophomore in college, and home for the Christmas break.
I knew something was wrong when I opened the door and saw that she was curled up in his lap, crying.
“The doctors found suspicious spots on the x-ray. They can’t operate on the tumor,” she choked out.
I have only snippets of memories of that last Christmas. I wish I had more.
After Christmas break, and my dad’s diagnosis, I went back to college.
And I pretended like everything was just fine.
I kept a smile plastered on my face and denied to others, what I knew to be true: My dad was going to die.
Six weeks later, he was gone. One round of chemo, then pneumonia, and a coma.
My dad wasn’t even 45 years old, and my mom became a widow at 42.
And I became the girl who began to number her days.