Last month, September 12th, was my daughter’s birthday. We spent last year tiptoeing around this date, afraid to address it directly for fear it would simply rip the wound open anew. This year, we spent it up in Maine at the 7th annual KAT-Walk & Karo 5-K, originally established to honor two young women, almost the same age as my daughter, who lost their lives to ruptured aneurysms in strikingly similar circumstances. It was a picture-postcard early Fall day, and we were joined by hundreds of individuals – survivors, relatives of survivors, and those who had lost loved ones – who have determined to join the cause of raising the public dialogue on this too-little-understood condition.
I was fortunate to connect with many of the people at the event, particularly the mothers of Kimberly and Karolina, and to share, even briefly, our memories and our determination to make what had happened to us something more important than our own grief. I read recently that the holes in our hearts may not ever really disappear; they are just surrounded by new memories and people and hopes and plans that grow up like grass around paving blocks.
A lot of grass was planted this weekend! Thanks and congratulations to Maine Brain Aneurysm Awareness – a tremendous group of people – keep it going!