I have friends who need love, support, and help. I’m sharing a few of them with you today and hope you’ll stop in and say hello. Rumor Has It these are some of the most generous, caring, thoughtful people I’ve come to know, whether in person or just through the screen.
I crouch here, too, to chat. I have a line from ‘Hope Floats’ ringing through my brain; there’s a scene where Sandra Bullock is talking to her mother about how she wanted to be a different mother to her daughter than her mom had been to her, and says something like ‘I realize that it doesn’t matter who or what or when or where the hugging happens. Sometimes you just need a hug’ and I kept hearing ‘it doesn’t matter where or when the conversations happen as long as we keep talking’. The voice in my head had that Texas drawl even though I don’t, and I kept begging it to stop.
I kept talking, through the tears, until my thighs burned and my calves cramped and I couldn’t crouch any longer.
We’re not all here I cried. We’re not all here.
We didn’t bring everyone home with us. We were seven, and now we’re not. Mitchell, we left a baby in Baltimore.
Because we did. That’s how I felt. We’re not all here.
-Day 2 Saturday:
8:01 a.m. Wake up in black dress from funeral.
7:00 p.m. Change from black dress from funeral, into black T shirt.
7:15 p.m. Drive self in black T shirt and slippers for something to eat. Only want ice cream.
8:20 p.m. Friend drops off purple violet plant, my mother’s favorite. Can barely make out velvety leaves through blur of tears.
9:05 pm. Stare at van full of things from mother’s funeral, no room for children. Walk back into house.
9:10 p.m. Turn to FB: van needs emptying. Unable to do. Sage friends advise children empty items into back room, I go through items later.
9:39 p.m. Children empty van.
11:41 p.m. Fall asleep grateful for wise friends on FB.
Then my marriage ended, and the levees of my adulthood were tested. Without summons, emissaries of good judgment flocked to my side and began speaking to each other above my head, the way adults do when talking about the insolent child in the room. I now needed a lawyer to tell me how to speak. An accountant to tell me how to save. A realtor to tell me how to live. A therapist to tell me how to feel. A mother to tell me to sleep. A father to tell me to eat. A friend to tell me to stop watching Eat Pray Love every night.
The directional signs – the ones in the airport that illuminated the way when I first became an adult – have all gone dark. I am back to following at the heels of grownups, trusting that they’ll get me where I need to go, which is a route much more complicated than those laid out by any business trip. I have never felt more like a child while, by the same token, never feeling more adult.
I have never been more in Kansas and in search of Colorado.
Right now, we are all fairly sure I don’t have mets. So what I have is the second level of cancer, the level no one ever wants to discuss or admit exists.
Sometimes, cancer is a chronic disease, a chronic condition. Sometimes, it takes a long, long time for cancer to work its way out of your system, no matter what you do to fight it. This can happen even when cancer is not destined to kill you.
No one wants to hear this. You are supposed to fight cancer once and win. The alternative, I guess, is to “lose.”
There’s not a lot of language out there for those of us who just have to keep fighting, keep sacrificing bits of our healthy selves in some kind of absurd ritual to the cancer gods.
(and then go read the poem she wrote at the end of this post)
I know this doesn’t begin to cover it. I don’t know what to do, how to help. Except to spread the word so we can all pour our love into one giant pot…and give those in need heaping bowls of it, as many refills as they want.