I love the magazine "The Sun". They publish short stories, essays, and my favorite section of the magazine is called, "Reader's Write". The editor chooses a topic and the readers of the magazine write in with their personal stories. The stories are raw and unpretentious and always moving. I inevitably sob through this section of the magazine.
When I saw one of the upcoming topics was "finding out" I couldn't help but submit. I doubt mine will get published, but I thought I'd share my submission with you.
Topic: Finding Out
When the call came, I was alone with my four-month-old daughter. She instinctively knew something was wrong, and wailed with me as the doctor explained over the phone why she hadn’t gained weight in two months, why she was anemic, and why her skin tasted like she’d been dipped in the salty sea. The doc was calm, chatty even, making small talk while I fumbled through the house, looking for a pen and paper, to write down the results of the rest of her life. He must have felt that if he kept me on the phone, he could somehow prevent it from being real, from sinking in. With nothing left to say, he asked if I would be alright.
My baby was screaming and the floor suddenly felt like one of those bouncy houses parents rent for a child’s birthday party. I was dizzy and drunk with the knowledge that our worst fears, the one thing I had prayed wouldn’t be true, couldn’t be true, was now written on a post-it note.
Somehow, I managed to get out the words, “We’ll be fine,” even though I was sure we would never be fine again. I called my husband, my sister, my parents, and my best friend. Their guttural sobs on the other end of the line made it real. It wasn’t a dream. We would never wake from this.
I stood at the screen door, waiting for someone to come, to open the door, wrap their arms around me and say, “Everything will be okay.” And they all came, one by one, saying the only thing you can say at a time like this, “At least now you know.”