yesterday, it hit me. we were fresh from the sandy shore where i purchased from my very favorite bookstore a blank journal in hopes of converting it to the day timer calendar of my dreams (after a short, but exhausting search which left me wanting). as i jotted the dates and blocks of days that added to a year, it hit me. it's very likely this year will bring the loss of my mother and the thought even now as i sit makes me well, sad. let's just say sad cause i wouldn't want to lean towards the dramatic like "life changing" or "shattering" so i'm sticking with sad-for right now.
for the past month i've been sitting on a keg of a blogpost. my mother has stage 4 inoperable incurable lung cancer. she's 77. she's smoked a long time. but here's the thing, dear loved ones. when someone you knows tells you her mother has lung cancer, please don't let the first words you utter be, "does she smoke" like many of those who i've shared my troubling family news with have responded.
here's why. we all deserve to die-but grace, praise the lord, grace usurps that tormenting truth and allows us to relish, like a float down a lazy river, the love and courtesy of a saviour who says, "there is a better way-me." so yeah. don't start with the "i told you so" when someone tells you their mother is dying. it's just poor form.
so here we are. me wrestling wild ass monkeys (aka my children). them winning. mostly cause i am older and slower and not as smart or energetic and let's not forget distracted whilst a couple hours away my mom is living with broke down lungs. it's all so surreal. and sickening.
my sister takes her to an appointment and phones me to process the news. i drive over to see my mom on the days when my boys are in their one day a week tutorial for a visit with a doctor or take her to lunch or be shunned cause she really can't be bothered with me being all weepy all over the place.
geez. could somebody make an app for that? the "schedule a break down app"? in between the taking the dogs out and driving the cross country team?
i was cleaning out one of the two cabinets i have in my kitchen (first world problems) when the littlest bemoaned his homemade biscotti was too hot (first, first world problems). and like a voice over the intercom, i heard my voice say, "honey, i am sorry. i burned the biscotti. i am having a hard time thinking of nana dying."
and like kids and life do, we just move on. down the road. to carpool and family vacation and supermarket outings. but in the corner of my mind, i think of the burying of the only person in my life who still worries when i drive alone or with my boys. who is that "call me when you get there" voice. the only person who can make me want to bang my head against the wall, but whose approval i think i still secretly and sickening wish i had (it'll never happen. just when she got used to my homeschooling and became an all "down with public school" zealot, i put two of my boys in public school so in her defense i am pretty maddening myself.)
so here we are. you, me and cancer. not my cancer (been there done that) or that of my Mister or my boys (thank god). but cancer that is taking away the only grandmother my boys have ever known. the one who always had a hot meal, their favorite food group-macaroni and cheese-from the box,like they like it-waiting for them when they arrived from an arduous journey be it from maryland or nashville. and i am sad. so let me just sit in that for a while. or for a long while. or probably forever because death or the thought of it kind of sucks. not for those who are dying necessarily, but for those who are left behind.
that's it. so if you see me out and about and i look distracted or my kid shows up without his homework (or having studied for his art history quiz) or i forget about a meeting, just know. it's cause i'm sad. that's it.