May, My Most Difficult Month

Once upon a time, May was my most anticipated month. Winter was gone, spring was in fully bloom, and summer was right around the corner. Honestly, that wonderful anticipation feels like lifetimes ago. As if some other person, a stranger, used to get all giddy this month.

May 26, 2005 came and changed everything.

The depression starts around the first month of May. As each day passes, it grows worse. I slap a smile on my face and pretend everything is fine. I’ve actually become real good at subterfuge. I swear, it’s my super power. Life falling to pieces? I’m fine. Sick as hell? Still fine. Just woke up from major surgery? I’m totally fine. Found out I have a genetic condition that prevented my cartilage from strengthening, and one-by-one my joints are going to develop osteoarthritis? Absolutely fine. I’m so fine all the time, I can pretty much shoot rainbows and sunshine out of my ass.

But, it’s a lie. A dirty, filthy, nasty lie.

Actually, you know what? I am fine. As in F.I.N.E.

F***ed-up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional—mostly during May.

I can still hear my father’s wail when he called to tell me my brother, Anthony, had been struck by a car. “He’s dying, Renee.” will haunt me for the rest of my days. So will my reaction will. I laughed. Yep, laughed, as soon as I hung up the phone. I even might have rolled my eyes. See, the thing is, I assumed my father was being dramatic. Or exaggerating the situation. My brother wasn’t dying. Nope. Not dying at all. After all, it he had his fair share of demons, and they got him in all sorts of dangerous predicaments. He was also kinda accident prone. A broken jaw here. A dog bite there. He’d even been bit by a monkey. Seriously. A monkey. In Brooklyn. Can’t make that crap up. Never anything fatal.

Until mother ***ing May 26, 2005.

I hate that day. Hate it with every fiber of my being. Hate it with the passion of a thousand suns. Hate it so much, I want to rip it right off the calendar and destroy it until it’s so fragmented, it can never hurt me again.

I struggle…oh, God, how I struggle…knowing he died in pain. I mourn the children he never had. Nieces and nephews I’ll never get to spoil rotten because I’m their crazy aunt. I ache to see his face and hear his voice. I weep for the Marvel movies he’ll never see. He was a huge fan of comics. I grieve for the conversations he and Jesse will never have about Spiderman, and how he would have loved Into the Spiderverse as much as she does. My heart hurts that he never met Tyler. He never got to see his kid sister finally grow the hell up and stopped being such a judgmental shithead.

Most of all, I miss the man he might have been today. A man I’ll never get to know. An uncle my daughters will never meet. A brother I’ll never again laugh with, because on the night of May 26, 2005, he tripped getting out of the passenger’s side of a car. My accident prone brother landed in the street and was struck and killed by an eighty-three year old woman who thought she’d run over a pothole.

So, yep, I’m F.I.N.E. Perfect F.I.N.E during May. Miserable motherf***ing May.

↓ Leave a comment below to join the conversation! ↓

Find me on Instagram! @reneeroccoauthor