Today is a beautiful Saturday. The San Francisco summer is rolling in fashionably late, per usual. Saturday mornings are kind of special to me, and something I wish Sean were still a part of. Waking up together with no agenda, knowing that I would probably get to spend the whole day with him (unless I lost him to Skyrim or Assassin’s Creed…). In an effort to save money, we would make our own coffee and walk with our mugs to the park just down the street from our apartment. We spent a lot of Saturday mornings sitting on a bench, talking and watching people walk their dogs. If we happened to wake up particularly early, we would beat the Saturday rush to Stacks and split a bacon waffle (we learned the hard way that each getting our own waffle meant almost rolling ourselves back home).
Lately I’ve been wanting to revisit a lot of places that hold significance for Sean and me. Last week, I walked to UCSF Mount Zion, where Sean got all his cancer treatments. I hadn’t really planned on it, but I went for a walk and found myself in that neighborhood, and then just couldn’t resist walking toward the building we spent so many hours in. I allowed tears to start flowing even before going in. Anger rose up inside as I passed the office of the pain management specialist who never returned my desperate phone calls that one weekend. When I entered the medical center, I went to all the places. I went to the cafe where Sean and I spent many hours waiting between radiation and chemo appointments. I went to the basement, the radiation oncology floor. I went all the way up to the 5th floor, the infusion center where chemo is administered. I sat in the waiting area there, crying, watching nurses pass by and recognizing about half of them. After sitting there 40 minutes I was finally able to get up and leave the building.
Other places have come to mind that I want to revisit. Sean and I went to Half Moon Bay for our first anniversary and found a field of pumpkins and a winery there. Our third anniversary would have been September 17, just a couple weeks ago. I went to LA to be with friends, but it would like to visit Half Moon Bay again soon. I want to walk to USCF Medical Center on Parnassus, where Sean first checked himself in to the ER (without telling me…) because he was having trouble breathing. We had our first hospital overnight together there- the first of many. We spent a lot of time in the ER and on different floors at that hospital over the last year. It’s where Sean took his last breath. I haven’t been back since we left his body there that night. I’m not sure when, but I want to revisit that place. These memories are such a part of my everyday thoughts- it seems that physically going back to these places somehow brings the memories into the present. It helps me line up current life with my mental and emotional process. It helps me remember Sean, in a tangible way.
Today, I woke up (way too late) to beautiful sunshine and got a latte from our favorite cafe. I walked to the Walgreens where we spent WAY too much time, doing late night snack runs and picking up prescriptions. I sat on a bench in Patricia’s Green, the park where Sean and I spent so many Saturday mornings.
It was nice.
(Here is Sean and me at that park. This was actually the day we met his oncologist for the first time, and learned the staging of his cancer. It was also his birthday last year. Our smiles are a little forced, but I was glad to be with him.)