The night I first took my dad to the hospital I remember looking at my camera roll in my phone. It takes awhile for CT scans to come back and my dad was taking a nap, so I was mindlessly scrolling through my old photos on my camera roll to see if any of my outtakes or random throw aways would be fun to edit while I waited. We had already been there for several hours and it was in the middle of the night.
Selfies, friends, outfits, Cassyus.
Landscapes, the city skyline, food photos.
All of these little moments in my life that once seemed boring and vapid to me now held a bigger meaning – they were proof of a version of me that existed before this night, before I would get the news about my dad’s brain tumor that would change the entire course of my life.
The nurse came into the room and shut the door. Closed doors mean quiet. They mean confidential. They mean bad news. She showed us the tumor. While my dad lost his shit over it, I detached to take control of the situation. I looked down at my lap to see my phone still lit up with the thumbnails of a life that wasn’t mine anymore.
The selfies were of someone I would never be again.
Who is that person in that outfit in that room in that house? It was a person whose dad didn’t have a brain tumor. I wasn’t that person anymore. The view out my window would always be different, as would my view in the mirror.
It’s been eight months now and my breath still catches in my chest when I scroll up through my camera roll in my phone and get to the jumping point into what I now consider real adulthood. The line between dates, the line between who I was then and who I am now. The line before and after May 13, 2018.
I try to be careful to not scroll back up too far.