Remembering Grace, again 

8 years, 1 day, 8 hours ago (February 13, 2009, 01:something AM)

I’m days from my 20th birthday and I have something that needs to be said before I lose the nerve to say it again. The way he forced me, then acted like he gave a damn when he found out about my baby – MY baby – no. Fuck that. 

So I stupidly rush to my car in the pouring rain, anger rushing hot through my veins. Adam, urging me to stay. I shouldn’t drive when it’s stormy. He’s always careful, always watching out for me, always calculating and weighing possible and probable outcomes, always right. 

I don’t make it even halfway down Northpark Drive before her car hits mine. I remember driving in the left lane of the road and seeing her slow at the median crossing, then realizing that she wasn’t going to wait for me to pass. Her blue car colliding with my door, crunching it against me, shoving me into the ironically stoic stop sign that must have somehow offended her.

I’m stunned. I sit, hands still on the steering wheel pressing against my belly and suddenly hate myself. I prepare myself for the worst while simultaneously, desperately trying not to consider the possibility. Probability.

I don’t know how long I sit there before turning my head to see the young woman walking around her car, inspecting it. A truck pulls up, two college aged guys, talking to her. She seems fine but off-balance. 

I’ve found my phone and speed dial Adam. He’s on his way.  I drop my phone again as one of the young men rush to my door. I’m still stunned; it seems like years have passed, not minutes. He struggles with my door, wrestling it open after yelling through the glass to confirm nothing was poking into me. 

Something – tail lights – blinded me momentarily. I watched in my review mirror, disbelief flooding me, as the second guy ran after her car as she simply drove away. Bitch. Drunk, prescription drug abusing bitch. Fuck you. 

Adam pulls up. I don’t remember what happens next. Something about the young men leaving because one had been drinking and didn’t want to get in trouble. Adam took over. An off-duty officer, then sirens and flashing lights, then an ambulance. But I wouldn’t be able to afford the bill that would inevitably follow, so I refused. Adam would drive me.

Next, the emergency room. A urine sample. An examination that confirmed what I already knew. A procedure, dilation and curretage. But wasn’t it too late for that? It’s been 4 months and several days since he broke me. 

“You’re medically stable now. We’re going to release you.”

That’s it? Well, okay, I guess.

Adam and his dad – I don’t know when he’d gotten there – in the waiting room. I don’t remember the rest. Was his dad there? I don’t remember. 

That’s what I do remember, though. I don’t always remember it. I’ve forgotten before, since the stroke. Heather, answering her phone and talking me through it after the first time I found the box that I’d apparently kept all record of Gracie in. Grace. Do you like it? Adam helped me pick it once we’d moved to the duplex in Montrose. 

But that doesn’t make sense. Weren’t we still living in Kingwood when Gracie died? Or was that the other wreck, the one that split my eyelid and tore at my brother’s leg? I’m confused. But I’m always confused now, so whatever. 

I wrote this because I know that I’ll forget again in a few days. I kept myself busy yesterday, Valentine’s Day, and the day before by doing silly things – gluing my fingers together and pestering my cousin, Chris, at work with questions about how to remove the glue before Adam got home to see the mess. I sent a picture of it to Adam anyway, in case I wouldn’t be able to clean it up before he arrived.

I texted with Andrea. Video chatted with John. He cheered me, without having to be told what was wrong. I talked with our friends in a Facebook group chat. Noelle had had a rough day and was still snowed in by the snow storm in Maine. Laura,waiting for a package. Alisa, sick. I wish I could be there for her. But, ataxia.

My birthday is this Sunday. Ugh.

I don’t plan anything for my birthday anymore. Other people usually plan something, if anything. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when something gets planned and pans out; the effort that goes into it, the thoughtfulness. I don’t have the energy to get around the sadness, so nothing would happen if other people didn’t plan it.

Several years ago, I threw together a last minute party with some girlfriends. Then I realized that I was forcing myself to smile throughout the night and decided not to plan another birthday party for myself. It was a good decision. I have more energy to be happy.

I woke up today not wanting to forget again. So, like I said, I’m writing it down here. Maybe I won’t forget as easily this time.

3 responses to “Remembering Grace, again ”

  1. Grace. What a beautiful name she had. I’m sorry for all that pain you feel. Just know that you are loved and I’m always praying for you.


  2. Ellie you have gone through so much in your young life … a testimonial to your strength, courage, and resilience. I am so sorry for all your loss, pain and sadness. Yet I am inspired by your dedication to progress, expansion and growth it is amazing. Your artistic endeavors delight the artist in me and challenges me to pick up pencil and paper again. Your knowledge of the brain (our last frontier) teaches me and intrigues a treat to me. So much still to learn. Your self preservation and pursuits to do your best and expand your world is so inspiring. Thank you for mentioning me sometimes I have one foot out the exit door that I forget I exist. If you remember me in the years way ahead of you remember I wrote this ” Your wit is charming and quick, your strength is admirable and your intelligence intriguing and amazing… your creativity inspiring and a delight to the eyes. You are perfectly you!


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