I am sitting in my Buick Enclave in the parking lot of Kings Island Amusement Park during a flash flood. Two little girls are buckled in the back seat watching a movie with headsets on, unaware of the full danger. We had spent the day in Soak City and the plan was one more water slide, ice cream and then home. Within minutes the skies were ominous, Corey sent me a text to “take cover now”. Simultaneously, the water park announced it was closing. Calmly, I led them to the car with thoughts of getting to McDonalds. They could have their ice cream and we could wait out the storm. That didn’t happen either. When you’re trapped within raging weather you become very aware that you are no more than a grain of sand in the universe. I was a grain of sand responsible for getting two precious babies home safely. I watch concrete trash cans skate across the parking lot effortlessly. They slide into cars and light poles. My car is rocking. There is a line of taillights trying to escape. I don’t move. If I change directions the wind could easily push us like the trash cans. I watch it happen to other cars. I know that the girls are nervous. I have perfected the poker face. It’s the only way I know to keep fear from my children. If I appear calm then there must be nothing to worry about. The rain pounds on the car. It’s deafening.
As I watched the danger all around me, I am alarmed by my thoughts. I am not afraid for myself at all. In fact, I almost welcome death. I am so tired and I don’t see any options. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suicidal. I know my purpose. I know I’m needed and loved. I know the lives of my children would be inexplicably changed for the worse if I am not here for them. In those days, they were all I was living for. The storm at home was equally as ferocious. What does scare me is harm coming to these girls.
This memory keeps resurfacing since I found the lump on my 47th birthday. Me and lumps, we go way back. I used to tease Corey that the “markers” that have been placed in me were “spyware”. His GPS on me so to speak. He always seemed to know when I was at the mall. I don’t expect this time to be any different. It’s there. It doesn’t belong. It will have to come out. At three o’clock on Thursday the ultrasound will give me all the information I need to know. If it’s solid, I will begin slaying a new dragon. If not, I schedule a biopsy, markers will be placed for improved GPS and I’ll move on. Why this memory, though? Because I am still not afraid to die, and I still believe that my not being here will inexplicably change the lives of my children for the worse. I am never not aware that I am all they have. One of those little girls in the back seat relies on me twice as much now than she did four years ago. Whatever the outcome, I win, but what I want most is for my children to champion.