A Bathtub

I’m having a hard day.

Everything is reminding me of Dana, and of Dana being gone. It’s hitting me in every direction. That song? He’s gone. That movie? He’s gone. That joke? He’s gone. That book? He’s gone. He’s gone, he’s gone, HE IS GONE.

With him goes the only person (besides Grandma) that I always believed loved me unconditionally. I’ve felt lucky in that I was secure knowing that Dana would always welcome me, want me around, love me. Always. He’s been my backup plan for as long as I’ve been independent. “If I get really sad, broke, in trouble, need to get on my feet again, I can always go to Dana.” 

It was the love. It was knowing how much he loved me and appreciated me. He made me feel smart, powerful and wise in how he sought out my advice and wanted my approval.

***

Yesterday I walked to the outhouse and saw the red bathtub sitting on the side.  The red bathtub was one that my mom had bought for the house that she originally lived in, then left and Dana moved into. Dana re-did the bathroom and took out the red bathtub. Knowing how much I liked it, he slugged it all the way up here and gave it to Mikey and I for valentine’s day.

He was SO EXCITED when he gave it to us, hopping from foot to foot and barely able to contain his anticipatory glee. “Guess what I brought for you?!!!!!!!!” It was like when we were kids and we’d save our money forever, or work hard and long at handmade gifts. So much time, effort and anticipation went into how much the other would enjoy the gift that we were about to burst when the actual time came to give it.

Seeing the red bathtub sitting on the hill, waiting to be put in and used, I lost it. I sat down and cried my head off.

We don’t know if we’ll be able to stay on this farm,where all of these wonderful physical remembrances of Dana will continue to surround us. The red bathtub. The slope he mowed for me. The lawnmower. The area he cleared for my garden (that I still haven’t put in). The space he told me wanted to build a pagoda and a little flower garden, more trees.

It’s all up in the air now. Leaving would be heart breaking at this point, losing the home and space we love so much in addition to my only brother, my only sibling, my best friend.

 

 

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
A comprehensive collection of resources for new parents of children with Down syndrome - https://t.co/WfzGfpmWm6 - 2 hours ago
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7 Comments

  • Why wouldn’t your family be able to stay on your farm? It sounds like the perfect place for you all. Keep on hanging tough, it will get easier. I can certainly empathize as I lost my only sister to cancer 13 years ago…STILL miss her of course.

  • You are an absolute beautiful writer. Thank you for sharing all of your deepest emotions with us. I cannot even fathom the pain you feel right now. You have my deepest empathy, and after reading your stories and blogs I feel Danas presence. You exude so much Dana – like energy and it gives me the chills when I read these posts. I don’t even know you, but I can sure relate to a lot of what you say, and your strength gives me strength when I miss my dear friend. I cannot express how sorry I am, but also how thankful I am for you sharing the raw truth of living through a terriblly tragic loss. Your brother was truly wonderful human being.

  • I am your friend in Boston, Ma. It can’t bring back Dana, but ‘you got a friend in me’
    As for ugly cries, they can be gut wrenching and draining but over time they help to heal – or at least scab over so you don’t always have your broken heart on your sleeve or in your mouth.
    What’s the deal w/ the lost coast. Are you in danger of having to move? Now of all times is not the time to get uprooted – too much has happened. Will keep you in thoughts and prayers. <3 Barbara

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