Last year’s Thanksgiving started out just like any other Thanksgiving that my family and I had in the past. We started preparing the dinner the day before and we watched the Macey’s Thanksgiving day parade like we do every year. Seems as if they use the same balloons year after year, but it’s tradition and I’ve always enjoyed it. Something was different though. Everybody seemed to be acting strange on Thanksgiving. I couldn’t really place my finger on it because nobody was entirly abnormal, just minor body language, vocal inflection and things of that nature…just seemed, off. I couldn’t place my finger on it as to why this was and why it was happening. It felt like something was missing. When I brought it up to mom as we were cooking dinner, she gave me a look as if I had a dozen heads, 10 legs and 5 arms and didn’t even answer my question.
As the day progressed, I just attributed it to the stress I was under at school, work, working on 4 shows at once and getting ready for the holidays. Maybe my mind was just playing tricks on me and I had lost track of what my family was really like. I knew that I had allot on my plate, mostly because I had allot of personal issues at the time and staying busy helped me forget about that and move forward in my life.
As we all sat around the table for the big feast that Mom and I had prepared, we all sat in silence and ate after we said grace. Which I knew I wasn’t crazy at this point because my family is always chatting away like nobody’s business. I aksed dad as we were cleaning the table and the kitchen up why everybody was acting so strange…but he didn’t even acknowledge that I had said a word. This was really begining to upset me because I didn’t know what was going on. Had someone died? Everybody that was always over for the occasion was there, minus the dog that we had lost over the summer but other than that, everybody was there.
The cat seemed to be the only one that paid any attention to be all day, she cuddled me and let me pet her. She knew that it would comfort me, she seemed to be the only one acting normally. I went to bed early that night but I didn’t fall asleep for the longest time and with as thin as the walls are in our house, I could hear mom and dad talking. I heard them talking about me. A year before I had left for Iraq and had gotten back over the summer, I had some issues after what I had seen over there but that’s normal. I was seeing a Therapist but I was shocked at what I had heard them say. They said that I had passed away over the summer and they didn’t have a memorial yet…it was too painful.
I started to panic. How can they be saying this? I sat right next to them during dinner, I clearly remember coming home on the plane. I remember burying my dog. I watched dad dig the hole and put him in there…how could this be?
I layed in bed in shock, not sure if I should get up and show them that I was still alive or if I should just stay in bed. I continued listening, my grandmother was still there and hadn’t heard why I apperently died. I had gotten home from Iraq a couple weeks early becuse I wanted to be there for my little sister’s wedding, which was difficult for me to watch because she’s my little sister and I didn’t want her to grow up but I saw that the guy was good. I remember that I didn’t handle my dog passing away very well though and then…then…I had a zeizure and was rushed to the hospital. Why don’t I remember this? I was listening to dad telling grandma that I had died in the hospital due to complications?
This explains why nobody acknowladged me and was acting strangly all night. Had I really be dead for the past 4 months? As I sit here and look back, there are so many things that make it so clear. I hadn’t steped out of the house since the dog died, the way I walked, the way I did things. It all made sense now.