I’m not sure what the right word is, ignorant maybe? I feel as though I am at a loss for words. It’s not writers block as much as it is guilt of the mind. I have no clue what needs to be said and how to say it.
My mother would never say anything, her soul is too kind, especially because I’m her daughter. She would do anything for me. Protect me until the moon stops shining. Which, the moon, always shines. My point is, my mom would take a bullet for me and protect me from all the bad in the world. Including her own struggles and emotions.
She would never tell me I misspoke because she doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. She would also, maybe, never tell me I misspoke because she wouldn’t want to let me or anyone else down. She is tough and people see her that way. So why then would she admit things are way harder then they appear? Baring her bones in mere fragments. The fragments she is ok with the world seeing.
I have to admit, I was blind to it too. And we live under the same roof. It’s hard to see the struggles when people put up walls. Walls made of tough steel and iron.
This past weekend my moms walls came tumbling down and I was ashamed of many things I have written about. How dare I say that she was “Lucky” for not having to experience a lot of the side effects I listed in my previous post, Going through the big “C” and I don’t mean Chlamydia. How dare I.
Who am I to say what she is feeling and how hard this is for her. Who am I? Goodness, I feel like a fool.
My mom has no clue I am writing this or that I have been thinking these things the past few days. I guess you can say that this is my confessional. My moment of truth.
My daughter, Cherri Rose, has just survived her first cold and no matter how much Vicks I rubbed on her, or humidifiers I put in her room, nor the amount of nasal spray I gave her… I simply COULD NOT make it better. Her little cough would keep me up at night as I would rock her gently back to sleep. I couldn’t protect her from the big bad cold. Somethings you just can’t help. As much as you want to take away someones pain, you can’t. It is out of your control.
Sometimes, I get so mad at my mom’s situation that I want to punch a wall. Other times I am sad for her. I wish I could protect her from the cancer. I wish I the had the power to take her pain away. But, I don’t. And that is a hard pill to swallow. My mom and I are very close. Best friends in a way, so I get very protective of her. I have caught myself being mad at my dad for not meeting her every emotional need. Which, isn’t fair.
She is giving so much. When I was sick two weeks ago she made me food despite her fatigue. Last night when my daughter was upset due to a belly ache my mom helped me take care of her. Giving me a break. Here she is struggling, working forty hours a week, making dinners, and helping me take care of my baby.
Do you see where I am coming from? I want to do everything I can to help her but she is the one who is helping me, helping others. Who is there for her? Her mouth has been sore, she is tired, constipated then has diarrhea, nauseous, dizzy, weak… the list goes on.
I didn’t know a lot of this until she told me last weekend. She has put up her brave face for so long and so well that I didn’t even see how much pain she is actually in. Foolish.
Come Monday she will start her weekly chemo treatments and I know things will be getting worse for her. I am not making this about me and how little I feel like I am doing. I just wanted a chance to remind myself that my mom isn’t superwoman, as much as it seems that she is. She’ll always say that she is fine and that she is in need of nothing. But deep down she still needs. Even if all she needs is peace, quiet, and people stop trying to interfere. Like myself. Maybe its not about the, “what can I do to help?” or “I’ll be there for anything you need!” or over-careful, “Are you sure you’re up for this?” Maybe, its more about the silence. The reassurance. The act of doing instead of consistently asking. You know what I mean? Don’t ask what you can do but do it. Get a gas gift card, make smoothies an bring them over, send the “Thinking about You” card, or say nothing and just give her a big smile and talk to her about about nothing. Small talk. Because sometimes talking about nothing means everything. Taking your mind off of what you don’t want to think about. Let her pick her own battles, when something is too much she will say so. Don’t try to fix a situation for her. She will let you know if you have done too much or if she needs something from you. That’s what I am learning. For example, she has let people know not to come over if she is too tired. And if people do come over to visit its usually her grandkids or my great aunt and all they do is bring a much needed smile to her face. I love seeing that smile. To my mom, family is everything.
Don’t over-do it or under-do. Just be. There is an art to loving someone, taking care of someone, finding that balance can be tough but its there.
On a more positive note, my mom had a mammogram on Wednesday and it went really well. The tumor is shrinking and the chemo is working! Praise the Lord. We are one third through it…deep breaths….we got this…
In other news, David and I finally sold our house so as long as things go well we should be closing in June. No profit from the sale but we should break even, which is good considering we only lived in the house for a little over a year. Also David, started his new job this week at Designs for Health, so things are looking up.
I hope you understand what I am saying. I am learning just as much as the rest of you. My emotions don’t control me, so as bad as I feel for my mom, realizing that there is nothing I can do to take away the cancer is good a thing. I say this because now that I have realized that I am not God (I know I am not some majestic being that heals and fixes all, shocker) I can move on to simply being there. Do what needs to be done. Helping on chemo days, making food, cleaning, talking about life, laughing, holding her hand, telling her its okay to have emotional bad days etc.
I am taking this one day at time. Learning as I go.