August is a Terrible Month - Uncover Ostomy
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August is a Terrible Month

I’ve always hated August. It’s a terrible month.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so. I mean, Buzzfeed agrees with me.

We agree that August brings crazy hot temperatures.

Gigantic insects.

The end of freedom for kids everywhere.

And, for all of us, it marks the end of the best season: summer.

But for me, it marks much more than that.

For me, August marks the end of another year of my life, as my birthday quickly approaches within the first 3 days of September. It reminds me that another year of my life is ending, and that I’m probably not any wiser than I had been the year before.

August has recently begun to mark the time in my life where I made a terrible life mistake. I chose to believe that someone was the person I was meant to spend the rest of my life with, who I very sadly realized, never deserved me in the first place. August marks the time where I had to move out of our shared apartment.

(It was way less dramatic, I swear.)

Having moved out of the place I shared with my, now ex-boyfriend, I had to move back in with my mother into my childhood home.

Except, only for a few months, as this August she sold the place and moved out.

This month now also marks the time in my life where my childhood home disappeared.

But what August really marks for me, and will forever mark for me, is the loss of two very important people in my life.

The first loss I experienced in August of 2008, was my grandmother. She passed away on August 13th, 5 years ago.

She was an extremely important person in my life because she was the person who helped me discover my passion for acting.

Being one of the most respected actresses in Canada, having sat on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Acting Union, ACTRA, and starting a home for aged performers in Toronto (PAL), she was the person who brought me in to the world of performance.

At a very young age, she enrolled me into multiple acting classes, where she followed my talent. As I grew up, she mentored me and taught me the ins and outs of the industry. But my favourite memories I had with her were those times she would take me on set while she was filming (my favourite of which, being for the movie Beautiful Girlwhere I got to hang out with Fran Drescher!)

But most of you may know her from her famed role in Billy Madison, as the Lunch Lady:

My grandmother helped me find my passion in life, and because of that, she will always be a part of who I am.

But the person who has played one of the most pivotal roles in shaping who I am today, was the man I lost 4 years ago, on this day: My father.

For those of you who have been following me since I started this blog, or even over the past few years, you’ve already read about my dad. I talk about him often.

For those of you who don’t know the story of my my father, his fight with a rare blood disease called myelofibrosis, his search for a bone marrow match, and how his legacy was the catalyst for bone marrow drives in Canada, you can read about his story here. You can also read the blog I kept during the month of his treatment all the way up to his passing, here.

This has been the reason I’ve hated August as much as I do.

August reminds me of the worry. August reminds me of the stress. August reminds me of the sadness. And August reminds me of watching my father disappear, literally, before my eyes.

This year, however, August has been different.

Of course I miss him, and I’m sad, and I always will be… But things are starting to change.

They’re starting to blur.

When I first realized that details were starting to disappear, or blend together, I got very upset. I couldn’t believe that I had let myself forget some of the conversations my dad and I had had prior to his being admitted to the hospital. I was so mad at myself for not remembering some of the jokes he made to me in the hospital. And I couldn’t believe that the details of the few days we spent waiting for it to happen… have all started to merge into a faint memory.

At first, I was devastated. I was mad at myself. And I was mad at time.

That’s what time does. It blurs.

But this August, I began to realize something else.

Time was only blurring that horrible moment in my life.

The blurring of those horrible memories has begun to change the way I remember my father. Those awful times that have been so clear in my head these past 4 years, have slowly been replaced with old memories that had been pushed aside.

The memories that now fill my mind are the happy times my dad and I used to share, like when we used to huddle over his computer so he could teach me how to use a nifty new program he had just bought… Or the times he’d try to teach me math that I wasn’t quite getting.. Or the inappropriate jokes he would tell me (and to not tell my mother that he had). But most importantly, the memories of his support, help, and love during my sickness are what are coming back the most.

On this day, every year, I usually write a morbid piece. A piece riddled with sad memories, sad words, and sad feelings.

But this August is different.

Today, on this 30th day of August, I received the news that my latest flare of Crohn’s disease is gone.

While I had been struggling with the disease for the past few months and wishing more than anything that my dad was here to help me through it, hearing the news that I’ve beat it once more, on the anniversary of his death, couldn’t be better.

Maybe August isn’t so bad after all.

Jessica Grossman
    Posted at 03:55h, 31 August Reply

    Hey Jess,

    I am a firm believer that “God doesn’t put more into your life than he knows you can handle”. Some days I swear that he forgot to give me a breaking point because I have been dealing with so much personal crap in my world on top of the Crohn’s AND the fact that I have not been allowed back to work for the last 4 1/2 years.

    When things are getting me down I always remember the poem “Footprints in the Sand” and that does get me through alot of my crappy down days.

    I love the blog so please keep writting, keep smiling, keep dreaming for a cure!!!!

    Take care,


  • Rica Night
    Posted at 15:08h, 31 August Reply

    Aw, Jess. I’m struck by the contrast between two things. When discussing your birthday, you lament that “another year of my life is ending, and…I’m probably not any wiser than I had been the year before.” But then when you write about realizing the gift time has given you, in blurring the worst memories involving your dad and bringing the best ones into sharper relief, I see such profound wisdom. For me, my favourite thing about getting older has been gaining perspective.

    So delighted to hear that your recent Crohn’s flare is over! I’d been holding you in my thoughts ever since the “I’m terrified” entry. May your good health continue so that you can go on having fun, learning, and inspiring us all.

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