I have been writing my memoir detailing how Kevin and I met, fell in love, worked through Canada to U.S. Immigration, battled Angiosarcoma and how our journey ultimately ended with his death in 2008. For me though, the journey didn’t actually end there. The memoir’s first draft is 75% completed based on my memories of our time together. The memoir will also include select entries from our blog detailing Kevin’s battle with Angiosarcoma. Please enjoy an excerpt of the memoir below:
I left him at Fargo, feeling angry, upset, and devastated. We knew nothing of our future. I was guaranteed nothing. No future plans, no job, and nowhere felt like home except wherever I was with Kevin. The roughly 22 hours of driving ahead of me were filled with regret, wondering if I had made the right decision to return East. I only hoped that it would secure a better future for Kevin and I, and that our future could start quickly.
I hoped to be able to make it nearly to Chicago from Fargo. It was a long, intense drive ahead, especially in the August heat. With my prior car issues, and all the extra weight from everything I owned being shoved into the car, I worried about how it would do on the drive back to Pennsylvania. The drive through Wisconsin surrounded me with beautiful lakes and trees, and some very, very slight rolling hills. I was no longer in Mountain country, far from it in fact. Not even the Pennsylvania mountains (ahem, hills) could come close to comparison to the ones in Montana. I hated the drive. The music was its only redemption.
My night in southern Wisconsin went fast, and I hit the road quite early hoping to make it back to my parent’s home before dark. I had a 16 hour drive ahead of me, on nothing but toll roads, and straight drives. I was already bored. I drove across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, in a complete daze. Straight roads, nothing to see.
As soon as I hit Pennsylvania, and the crazy curves on the western portion of the Turnpike, I began to get excited. I was so close to home. I had been on the road for four out of the past seven days. Each day on the road, I was stuck in my car from the crack of dawn until the dark night. It was hot, humid and my left arm was red with sunburn. I was cranky. I wanted to see my family and friends, but every mile marker I passed with some level of regret.
When I finally made to Pennsylvania after the arduous cross country drive, my mom never looked so happy to see me. The ION looked horrible, as if I was living out of it (though I technically was), and I was exhausted from so many days on the road, but I was home. There was relief in having a place to stay, but as I unloaded my car, it felt so surreal. Had I really given up Montana? Where were the Mountains?
My car was unpacked in less an hour. My goods were in the basement, my old bedroom, my sister’s room where I was now going to be sleeping. Everything was chaotic, and I couldn’t remember what stuff was in what tote. I hated not having my own place to decorate, sleeping in a single bed, not being on my own two feet. I had gone backwards with my life. I was supposed to be getting married and moving forward, but somehow I was back at my parents, broke, without a job. I was a failure.