I wish I knew cat language for “I love you and good-bye”. Sam goes back tomorrow to live with his original momma, Betty. Sam has been with me for 6 years but there is a pretty girl kitty that needs some company waiting for him. We’re calling it an arranged marriage.
“Everything’s taken care of.” I told my daughter. The turkey was in the roaster and the frig bulged with fixings. Since my boys were home, they could help me finish the home stretch.
This time, however, thanksgiving dinner never happened. How foolish of me to depend on them. Couch comforts and the spell of the electronic device proved too intoxicating, so the vision of a traditional holiday remains a fantasy. When will I learn that any need of mine is no match for autism indifference?
Saturated in the doom of matriarchal failure I apologized to my daughter and guest. “I don’t like turkey anyway,” consoled Brittany. “How about next year we just do pies?”
I broke a promise made 22 months ago when told my disease has no cure. The love of my friends and family cushions me. Their devoted support sustains me, aware, that the tragedy of this diagnosis affects them as well.
Good news, the scan showed improvement from last year. Yippee! It was the first time I let my guard down and allowed a little emotional respite. Skipping out of the center to celebrate in the parking lot on the phone with a few close people, including my children. On the drive home I even entertained thoughts of new furniture for the living room.
But a storm cloud was already closing in. Although things are better than a year ago, another test indicates cancer cells are on the increase. Wanting to shield my loved ones from the cruelty of the circumstance, I took the hit and carried the burden alone. I told no one.
“Honey,” my late husband gently said, “I know it’s really a challenge for you to keep things in place with all your projects going on, but its getting harder to convince our guests that after 3 years we are still renovating.
Two and a half decades later, I’m still “renovating.”
When I get stuck, it would really help if I remembered,
What advice would I give, if it were someone asking me?
And then follow it.
Most of the time, I'd be okay.
I usually give pretty good advice.
But then again, that's only my opinion.
I did. “Just don’t leave the kitchen when the stove is on.” my friend says.
Embarrassed, humiliated and defensive, Practical Self tells Emotional Self, “From now on, be more careful so it won’t happen again.” But I know it could.
“Why does this bother you?” Practical Self speaks, “cancer does not define you. It’s chemo-brain.” Emotional Self is not consoled. Like a television, my mind wonders to the place that protects those people that leave the stove on.
These days they call it the memory unit; those days, they called it the psych unit. Will I be that naked lady with the Albert Einstein hairdo meandering the halls searching for Elvis? Ouch.