01 November 2016

“Dad Used to Call Me Kaddish, So I Wouldn’t Forget”

Prior to his passing away just after my first year of high school, on June 13, 2012, my brothers, aunt, and I begged my dad to record his elongated, story-based answers to a series of questions from the book, To Our Children’s Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come, written by Bob Greene and D. G. Fulford. Just over four years later, I finally began to listen to it all, and in my search for memories, I discovered old text messages, interviews, photographs and more.

The following is the fruition of my own experience in listening, reading, reflecting, and believing:


* * *

Alan H. Medansky

Medansky, Alan H. Beloved husband of Susan (nee Tatkin); loving father of David Patrick, Brian Matthew, and Kevin Noah Medansky and stepfather of Jenna and Daniel Schectman; devoted son of Dr. Roland S. and Sheila Medansky; dear brother of Debra (Dr. Benjamin A.) Dubin. Fond uncle of Deena, Michael, Elana and Joshua Dubin. Alan was a partner and CPA with Topel Forman for the past 20 years. Service Monday 1pm at Congregation Beth Shalom 3433 Walters Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062. Interment Shalom. Memorials in his memory to The Alan H. Medansky Memorial Nativ Scholarship Fund, c/o Cong. Beth Shalom would be appreciated. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Buffalo Grove Chapel, 847.229.8822, www.cjfinfo.com.

June 17, 2012. Courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times.

* * *

     May 7, 2012. 7:00am
Welcome to the morning update…
This should now be fixed to the correct phones.
I feel good and can still breath reasonability, but feel like I will have trouble talking. Seeing David at three, so we will talk about it later. Susan and I have decided that it if I am full, we will consider the insertion of a line
to drain me often and hope to get rid of the wonderful noises.
Keep you posted

* * *

Dad has this way of being so matter-of-fact, with a slight sense of humor. He states the location of his birth, his surname, and his social security number—which he tells us without a problem, because once he’s buried, no one can use it, anyway. His old weight was 230 pounds, but now, anything around 170 makes a good day. He takes pride in his quick wit. Upon reading “race and religion,” he tells us that he can’t run for his life, and he’s Jewish.

He narrates the life around him, that I sit on the recliner, opposite his own, as Brian and David rest on the couch. They could see over the top of it, even when they were sitting down. We’d listen to him, and he’d pause to announce whenever each of us were leaving momentarily for more ice water, peppermint bark, or any of the other sugary snacks he kept in close reach. All but his precious 12-packs of Coke cans—soon switched to six-packs of bottles—were for the taking, accessible to all. The Coke? One wouldn’t dare touch it.

He deliberately mentions that he’ll talk about Costco later in the series, for much longer than just a passing moment. He never realizes that the questions in this book likely won’t cater themselves to his love of Costco, and I must accept that I’ll have to form my own connections from his implicit mentions later on.

In this month of exploration with him, I was balancing the final month of school, with lots of homework, and I would often struggle to stay awake throughout the hours of listening. Knowing he would die in only a few weeks forced upon me such a strong sense of delayed sadness. I knew that I would talk to him again, and I’d sit with him and eat dinner with him, and that one day, he’d be gone, but, until then, we were together. I’d talk to friends and teachers with a bereft calmness, confused, apprehensive, and grateful, all at once, like the beginning of the upward slope on my very first roller coaster.

* * *

     May 9, 2012. 7:37am
Sleep late but still breathing
Susan still sleeping
Rainbow hospice will be here to do a physical this morning and I plan to stay home all say until my Men's club meeting.
Safe trip to david who will be leaving for U C graduation, and back next week
Keep you updated. This must be how blogs start!

* * *

When they were little, Dad said Kaddish with his family over Aunt Debbie’s newly dead hamsters. There’s no hesitation as he tells this to us; to him, this is reality, correct, and certainly not worth even a pause to contemplate the ramifications of uttering this prayer for dead hamsters. They were in the family and needed to be mourned for, and saying Kaddish would have been the only way.

* * *

     May 12, 2012. 7:32am
Saturday update
Still feel good no real pain
No plans other than Saturday at Costco!
Any change and I will let you know. Enjoy your Saturday

* * *

     May 13, 2012. 9:06am
Sunday update:
Happy Mother's Day
Still feel good, no real pain, and my breathing is fine. Based on my prior update times, I am sleeping a lot more and for longer intervals. (good news)
No plans other than Susan's family at 11 and mine at 6.
Any change and I will let you know. Enjoy your Mother's Day Sunday.

* * *

     May 15, 2012. 10:59am
Tuesday update
Happy Tuesday
Susan feels good, just a little tired. I feel good after an eventful evening. When you stand up, put your head lower than your knees, you tend to fall over. I did! Other than hurting my pride, there are no remaining side effects. About two hours later, Susan contacted the nurse and we opened the bag of magic drugs. They found something for me to take and I slept thru the night. That's why we are late today.
Have a food Tuesday.

* * *


He’d made sure that, without a doubt, we’d visit together the oldest synagogue in the United States, the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas. We could have driven through forests, walked across beaches, rummaged through stores, but this was a long-planned pilgrimage of sorts, a cruise-sponsored excursion just for the two of us.

* * *

     May 16, 2012. 5:53am
Happy Wednesday
All is well
No pain
No trouble breathing and
Not knocked out on magic drugs.
Boys are planning to take me to the movies this afternoon Look out tomorrow for my movie review :)

* * *

A few years before this recording, Dad had asked me in passing, as he drove me back to Mom’s house, what Mom would think if he died. And, I told him—I’d talked to Mom about this a few weeks prior, so I was still very much ruminating on her response—that she said she wouldn’t mind. She’d be sad for a little while, but she’d move on quickly.

A few weeks later, while we were with our cousins, and Aunt Debbie and Uncle Ben, at their lake house, he brought this up nearly with a smile, as a testament to the comedy he found in their damaged relationship, and he asked me to repeat it. When I did, it wasn’t met with the laughter I’d expected, the laughter that Dad had shared with me on that car ride. Everyone was solemn for a moment, and then we talked about something else.

From then on, I didn’t really talk much to Mom about Dad’s health, since it really seemed like she was ambivalent. It made sense to me: Their divorce was a perpetual series of arguments and tears; she’d clearly felt overpowered by him, by the way he raised his voice so violently when he disagreed with her. So, we just didn’t talk about him much.

And, then, one day, just around when his home became his hospice, Dad drove me to Mom’s house, while she was still outside in the front yard, working in the garden. She saw us, and, rather than staying crouched toward the ground, hiding her face from him, she walked up to the car with a broken smile, as Dad rolled down his window. I didn’t really catch their words to each other—them talking so calmly was already such a shock to me—but, when he drove away, she started to cry, and she walked inside.

After that day, she started entering Dad’s house again, joining us on the Saturday afternoons we’d share in the living room, just talking. (“The next time she enters this house, you’ll probably have to visit me at Shalom Memorial,” Dad had always told me. I didn’t question anything. After all, this was the same person for whom he’d set the contact name to “Fucking Asshole.”) Sometimes, Susan, his then-wife would sit in the same room, and I knew even then that this was the happy set of married parents I’d never witnessed. It took his life to bring them together.

* * *

     May 19, 2012. 7:15am
Happy Saturday
No change, no problems.
Yesterday was uneventful, today is off to Costco!

* * *

     May 20, 2012. 9:51am
Happy Sunday
No change...no problems.
Yesterday turned out to be a long day with me downstairs or out of the house from 11 to 11.
Started work on the memory book. The boys seemed to enjoy it. Two chapters and one hour! Good thing I have unlimited recording space.
Will try to do more today.
Enjoy your Sunday. I will.

* * *


Tour Guide: “Come on, sir. Try it without any hands!”

Dad: “No.”

* * *

     May 21, 2012. 6:43am
Happy Monday
No change, no problems.
Yesterday was uneventful, spent most of the day sleeping. Did one more chapter of the memories book.
Update after nurse leaves.

* * *

     May 22, 2012. 7:22am
Happy Tuesday
No change...no problems.
Yesterday was the annual meeting for Beth shalom. I was formally elected to the board of trustees. It was a little emotional for me to be there, but I was glad to be there. It was nice to be there and I know there were people thrilled to see me.
Enjoy your Tuesday. I will.

* * *

As he talks about his teenage years, when prompted by one of the questions, he shrugs and says that he never really got in trouble as a high school student. He never really did anything that bad in high school, or even in college, he says.

“You know, we used to drive around all of Skokie until two o’clock in the morning every single Friday and Saturday night, trying to find your dad,” Bubbe, my grandmother, tells me at the shiva. “Eventually, we’d always find him kissing some girl under some streetlight, and we’d pick him up and take him home. Every weekend, he’d find a new girl.”

“To think,” Mom talks to me at the shiva, the next day, “there was never a day when I entered his apartment at school, and he didn’t have some bong going. There would always be marijuana at your father’s place!”

* * *

     May 23, 2012. 8:06am
Happy Wednesday
All is well
No pain
No trouble.
Mom and dads car is in the shop, so they asked me to uSe their tickets to Mariott for the play this afternoon. Susan David and I will be going this afternoon. Brian already saw it and hated it and Kevin loved it. I will let you know tomorrow our review.
Will will need to valet park as all of the old folks are already lining up to get in for a 1;00 show!
David will certainly drop the average age in half.
Have a good day. I know I will.

* * *

     May 23, 2012. 9:18am
When you get something wrong, you should admit it.
From Brian:
I am offended! I did not hate it! I thought it was done very well, i was just not a huge fan of the show itself

* * *

He just mistook Mom’s crocheting for knitting. She’s crocheted at every sports game and concert, during every movie and TV show, since well before I was born.

* * *

Dad talks about Mom never really fitting in with the family, while Susan was accepted with open arms almost instantaneously, and all I know is that that couldn’t be further from the truth. I still haven’t talked to Susan in years, and there’s no one Bubbe respects more than Mom herself.

“We’ve always said, Merrill, ‘We never divorced you,’” Zayde tells her as we eat dinner during my sophomore year of high school, the three of us and Bubbe. “And, I mean it.”

“You know, Kevin,” Bubbe whispers to me in the car. “When your mother tells me to do something, I always do it. Always. She knows best.”

Rabbi Melman officiated Zayde’s funeral that October. “Merrill told me a little while back,” he said from the pulpit, “that Zayde was the father she never had.” Mom sits next to me and cries.

* * *

     May 24, 2012. 9:22am
Happy Thursday
All is well
No pain
No trouble.
No need to drain me for excess fluids.
The nurse was here yesterday afternoon instead of today. No change as far as she was concerned.
Two thumbs up for Mariott from David and I. Thumbs down from Susan. She did not like the music.
Tonight is Kevin's installation as CBS USY vice president. Looks like Kevin will be following in his fathers and grandfathers tradition. USY is the synagogue youth group.
Enjoy your Thursday. I know I will.
Sorry for the delay. I sent it at 7:00 and just saw that it did not process.

* * *

When Dad talks about how hard Zayde fought, his whole life, with muscular dystrophy, his voice raises, as he barely passes any oxygen through his throat. He approaches tears, and I feel so powerless. He is vulnerable, and I am clueless. “Dad’s been saying Kaddish since he was 15,” Dad says. He’s talking about me. I’ve been saying Kaddish since I was 15, all for Dad.

* * *

     May 25, 2012. 7:12am
Happy Friday
No pain and no change. The nurse was here to confirm no change. I believe that makes it two weeks of stable results. I still feel great.
Last night was Kevin's instillation
A very nice event. Over 80 people attended.
(After Brian read yesterday's update, he wanted to remind me that he was also a USY board member. Since I was writing about Kevin, I didn't think it was relevant.)
Yesterday I also went shopping. I rented a scooter! I tried it out riding to CBS. It was a lot of fun. Nice bright blue frame and it weighs only 100 pounds. It separates into four 25 pound pieced that are easy to lift to put in the trunk of my car.
No plans today except a little clothes shopping with my scooter and working on the memory book. David will be going back to Colorado next week and wants more of the book completed. I think we have an appointment for something but neither Susan or I can remember what!
Have a great day. I know I will.
(Sent at normal time of 7:00)

* * *

Dad talks about family dinners and picking up hot dogs from Terry’s—later replaced in the family parlance by Hub’s. When we went out as a family to Portillo’s, all for hot dogs, Italian beef, burgers, or gyros, the trip was nearly sacred. A trip to Al’s to stand and eat their Italian beef sandwich, dipped in the gravy, was a pilgrimage, designated only for a post-Bears game meal. We’d go to Dengeo’s, D’Agostino’s, or Buffalo, every week for years on end, without even a second thought about trying someplace new. (He’d even invite Brian and me into his room for a “family conference,” in which he’d ask us what we’d like for dinner, knowing that, regardless of what we’d said, the dinner plans had already been set.) And, the meals at each of the restaurants would be the same: gyros at Dengeo’s, half-priced large pizza at D’Agostino’s, and anything off of the list of specials for Buffalo, which would always include an ice cream sundae for dessert. To have dinner with him was to accept the boring reality of sameness, but to appreciate that, upon repetition, some rituals simply become holy.

When Mom called me during Hebrew class, during my junior year of high school, to tell me that I needed to go to the hospital, because Zayde just died, I—after navigating to the hospital perfectly, from lengthy experience—stopped first at the Portillo’s across the street from Lutheran General for a fish sandwich. In silence, I ate the sandwich at a table, alone, only quietly repeating the words I’d said to Mar Morrel before I’d left class abruptly: “Ani tzarich lilechet achshav,” “I need to go now.”

A few months later, when Portillo’s moved to Phoenix, AZ, and I visited my then-girlfriend there, I asked her if she’d ever gone to Portillo’s for burgers, hot dogs, or Italian beef. She looked at me, puzzled. “Well, I went there once,” she told me, “but it wasn’t very good. Just fast food.”

* * *

     May 26, 2012. 7:29am
Happy Saturday
No pain
No problems
One shocked friend.
Jan came in town yesterday and stopped for a visit. What a surprise. I have not seen her since thanksgiving. I warned her I look a lot worse than I feel, but it didn't matter. She has never seen me this thin and neither have I. I was heavier at my Bar mitzvah!
Only a few things planned for today. MIB3 in 3D with the boys and Shavuot services tonight to see Kevin in the skit after service. If it is not raining, I am taking my scooter.
Enjoy your Saturday. I know I will.

* * *

Dad talks about his childhood: “Larry was this skinny kid, and I wasn’t, so they used to bring him over to watch me eat.” He smiles.

* * *

From left to right: Brian, me, Dad, and David.

We must have been at dinner on the cruise we took when I was in the fourth grade.

* * *

     May 27, 2012. 8:20am
Happy Sunday
No pain
No problems
Sorry for the delay, was clearing old emails.
Not much of an update today: movie review was excellent and so was Kevin's skit. I can tell you it was fun riding the scooter by myself to CBS.
Nothing planned for today except an interview with a grad student about patients entering hospice. Glad to help anyone. Boys will be up in Wisconsin for the day with their cousins. Looks like I will get a chance to do something with just Susan today. Maybe we can go to Costco :)
Have a great Sunday I know I will.

* * *

[Interview With Alan: Audio]

Gretta Johnsen, Medill News Service (GJ): When I first met Alan Medansky, it was three years into his diagnosis of colon cancer. He had gone through a brutal sequence of surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments.

Dad: The best way of explaining it is: I won the battles and lost the war.

GJ: Wow.

Dad: But, uh, it’s been three years.

GJ: As we talked, Alan was slumped into a chair in his living room.

Dad: I’m sitting here, and I pick sitting here, because it’s really a comfortable chair.

GJ: [chuckles]

Dad: Um, the couch in the family room is even more comfortable, but I tend to close my eyes sitting there.

GJ: It’s too comfortable!

Dad: It is too comfortable.

GJ: His personality is still strong, but Alan seems small and fragile, much older than his 55 years. The skin on his biceps and calves is wrinkled from muscle atrophy, and he has a silver bracelet that falls almost to his elbow when he raises his hand. Alan is obviously dying, but he’s still fighting the good fight.

Dad: I was diagnosed three years ago. And, it’s been a constant fight. Does anybody know other than Susan? For two years, even she didn’t know how much of a fight it was.

GJ: Alan married Susan just a year ago, knowing any time he’d have with her was limited. She, too, has cancer. Hers is in her esophagus, and they were even on chemo at the same time, which has been hard on both of them.

Susan: I deal with him, and he seems strong and very optimistic, and on the outside he is, and, you know, he’s very, um, very strong, you know. Because, outside of it, behind closed doors, there’s a lot of tears, a lot of fears, a lot of… You know. And, um, and he has access to anti-anxiety medications to help him, you know, make that transition.

GJ: Alan was admitted to hospice on May 9, which means he was eligible to receive special medical care to help him die in peace, and without pain. When I saw him on May 27, he was on the perfect combination of meds that made him the least uncomfortable and the most lucid. At that point, in late May, it was too late for Alan to worry about himself. The colon cancer was ravaging his body at its own pace, so he spent a lot of his time going through a book called To Our Children’s Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come.

Dad: It’s taking forever to go through it. It is very detailed. Um, it is a wonderful book, and I’m enjoying doing it. And, originally, I was just going to do it myself, and David, my oldest, said, “Well, how about, you let me be here when you do it?” And, we do it.

GJ: The “memory book,” as Alan called it, is just a list of questions, meant to serve as a tool for oral histories. Alan recorded his answers, so he could leave them behind when he’s gone. His oldest son, David, says he has over five hours of audio from their conversations.

David: I mean, it was nice, because the times that we did it, he was awake and coherent, and it’s just nice listening.

GJ: In addition to that legacy, Alan also wanted to reinforce what he thought was one of the most important lessons he learned in life:

Dad: What I’ve tried to tell the boys, more and more, the last month, was, was the most important thing I can tell you, is you need to be nice to everybody. You treat everybody with respect. And, just because you’re above them doesn’t give you any right for anything.

GJ: Alan died on June 13.

Courtesy of Medill News Service.

* * *

     May 28, 2012. 6:42am
Happy memorial Day
No pain
No problems
No change
Yesterday was very hot, so we spent most of the day inside. Plan to do the same today.
Had my interview yesterday. Very nice person. Rambled on for almost three hours!
Of course we went to Costco. Filled the trunk with stuff and spent a fortune. We now have an oriental rug for the living room. Thank you road show. By the way, the swirl is just as good as the chocolate yogurt.
Since Costco is closed today, looks like we will stay home today.
Trying to coordinate everyone's schedule to come over today. With Ben getting back from moving in Elana to Susan going to register Jenna in champaign tomorrow it will be a small miracle if it works!
Have a great Memorial Day. I know I will.
I seem to be rambling on with these updates also. They are getting longer and longer.

* * *

     May 28, 2012. 6:40am
Thought you might like to see this.


Dad and Zayde, together in their scooters

* * *

     May 29, 2012. 7:33am
Happy Tuesday
No pain. No change. No problems.
The nurse should be here to confirm no change.
As you saw from the picture with dad they and Debbie stopped by this afternoon which finally got me out of bed at 2:00. I think I was catching up on lost sleep. After mom and dad left I did half a chapter with Debbie and a full chapter with the boys. That was enough for one day. Was back upstairs before 7:00. No Costco no leaving the house.
Planning to work on password list for Susan and working on memory book.
For those of you working or going to school your holiday is over.
Have a great Tuesday.
I know I will.

* * *

     May 30, 2012. 8:40am
Happy Wednesday
No change and no pain.
Yesterday was uneventful as expected. Did not even ride my scooter!
Today's goals are to finish at least two hopefully three chapters of the memory book. Finished one third as of yesterday and want to finish another third before David leaves on Sunday and be close to done before Brian leaves the following saturday. David and I are having an investing meeting with a fidelity representative this afternoon. I am interested in what she has to say, but am doing this primarily for David. He has lots of investment questions and should find this interesting. Susan will be spending the day gathering stuff to bring to Mayo for her second opinion visit next week.
Have a great Wednesday. I know I will.

* * *

He just mentioned King of Prussia, PA. I know he wouldn’t be proud of me for attending a small liberal arts college—even one as well-ranked as Haverford—but his acknowledgement of King of Prussia provides me long-needed validation. He might have even driven near Haverford, once, on the way. My heaven, a side-attraction on an otherwise insignificant drive.

* * *

     June 3, 2012. 8:45am
Happy Sunday
No change and no pain.
Happy Birthday Debbie. Look forward to celebrating yours and Susan's birthday.
Yesterday was a good day. Enjoyed Concert in the park, but not as much as Ning who was singing with the chorus and tapping during the bands. Dinner was good last night. For only $6.00 they sang, gave us a pineapple desert, and took a picture. Even Danny was smiling!
Today everyone is coming over to celebrate Debbie and Susan's birthdays.
Have a good Sunday. I know I will.

* * *


“He got me to say yes,” Dad would tell family and friends. “He said that when David was in the eighth grade, we went on a cruise, and when Brian was in the eighth grade, we went on a cruise. And, now, Kevin’s in the eighth grade, so we’re going.”

On the fourth or fifth morning of our weeklong trip, we sat together at the breakfast buffet at the bow of the ship, eating lox and bagels. He drank iced tea, and I drank guava juice.

“Well, Kevin, you’ve really made some close friends on this cruise with all those teens in your program,” he said.

“Yeah, are you making any, too?” I responded.

“No, I’m just relaxing. I don’t really want to meet anyone new here.”

“At all? Isn’t that what cruise trips are for?”

“Kevin!” He suddenly raised his voice, just like when he found out that I bought an iPod without telling him—he was angry because it wasn’t the iPod Nano he’d wanted me to buy. “Don’t you know what this cruise is for?”

I sat silently, eating. “I’m not sure.”

“You’re not sure?” His voice raised even more. My mind whisked me away to the moment, years before, when I sat on his bed with him, and he told me that he just won’t yell at me, that it isn’t useful, that once he raises his voice, I stop listening, that I’m not like my brothers.

I sat silently.

“Really?”

We finished our breakfast in silence.

Later that day, after walking through the campus of St. George’s University, where he went for a semester of medical school, before transferring to University of Illinois at Chicago to study psychology and biology, as a commuting student, we stopped at his favorite restaurant in the city, just off the water.

He drank some concoction of alcohol and fruit juice; I drank more guava juice.

“Kevin, it occurs to me that you really don’t know why we’re here on this cruise,” he said.

“Yeah. I… I don’t.”

“Four.”

“What?”

“Stage Four.”

I sat silently, confused, once more.

“Kevin, I have stage-four colon cancer, and I’m dying. I wanted to go on this trip together, so we’d have some final memories together. So, you’d remember this.”

“Oh.”

* * *

     June 9, 2012. 9:03am
Happy Saturday
No pain no problems.
Yesterday was a good day. Susan recieved good news from Mayo that her treatment was successful and the mass has shrunk. Everyone agrees that she still needs surgery, but she feels much better about it. The nurse was here yesterday and what I thought was a major problem is not. Kevin is doing fine after his emergency surgery last night, he will still read Torah this morning and we will walk with him at the cancer relay tonight. Thank you TF for their generous contribution, as that helped raise more money than any other student at GBN. He will be making a speech tonight and will receive an award! The weather was great yesterday and will be even better tonight.
Enough for one message.
Have a great Saturday. I know I will.

* * *

     June 10, 2012. 8:20am
Happy Sunday.
Sorry for the delay. I dropped my phone and waited for Susan to wakeup. Yesterday, was a busy day. Kevin received an award for raising over $1500. it was quite warm and I almost died in the heat. Half hour with mom and dad and an hour at the walk was a bit much. Good thing Susan doesn't want to go to Vegas.
Today we will be working on things around the house, since it will be hotter today.
Have a great Sunday. I know I will.

* * *

When Dad told Brian and me, through the front window of his car, on my mom’s driveway, that he’d just gone to the doctor, and it was true—he had cancer, and it was a long way developed—I immediately knew in my mind that it would all be okay. I didn’t know what “okay” would look like, but I knew that it was true.

When his surgery failed, I still knew that same fact to be true: It would all be okay.

When he couldn’t drive his Lexus for a few days every two weeks, because the chemotherapy cords attached to him would tangle with the armrests, and his habitual movements would cause sudden, sharp pains in his arm, I still knew that it would all be okay.

When he couldn’t wake up at 4:30 every Saturday morning to drive me to school for Speech Team competitions, I still knew it.

And, when he took his final breath, and everyone gathered in the house—friends, cousins, Uncle Ben and Aunt Debbie, Bubbe and Zayde—I asked them all if they’d like anything to eat. They felt a little strange when I asked that, so I defended my thoughts: “In times like this, it really seems like you can’t say when you’re hungry, but you still might be. We have lots of food here, and it’s all for the taking.”

They still wouldn’t have any, but even then, part of me knew that it would all be okay. The other part of me was numb and didn’t know or feel anything, but with denial, that part was gone.

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