I only wish I had written to you years ago. To temper that loss, I will tell you a bitterfunny (not bittersweet, exactly) story. It is meant to make you smile, not to be sad.
In April 2003, I was under great strain with a terrible boss. It was in fact my boss at Groves who told me what happened to you, and I had a tiny meltdown.
I drove home crying, ate an afterschool snack of imitation crab meat, and took a nap. My husband-at-the-time woke me up and told me we needed to go to the hospital. I was apparently having an allergic reaction to the crab meat.
Were you ever able to see the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes? Well, I woke up looking like Helena Bonham Carter’s character. My upper lip had this weird ape shape. The doctor who finally saw me told me that my symptoms were from a combination of factors. The snack would not have created such an odd reaction by itself; it must have been from a stressful event, he said. He sure got that one right, I said.
So, I cannot watch Helena Bonham Carter in any of her Tim Burton movies without thinking that one day, on a very terrible day a long time ago, I looked exactly like her. Also, I don’t eat imitation crab anymore.