Frustrated With (No Longer) Empty Hands
NOTE: I had to edit this as I originally started writing it on October 09, 2013. Obviously that is not the date today.
My friend R. who lives in London (but born in bred in the same city I live in) had to fly back recently. His mother “had cancer.”
Immediately after he arrived, he said, “It was such a surprise to everyone!” Alright. We do have the aspect of cancer sneaking up on you. A sort of “surprise” where you seem fine for a while, and then you become gravely ill. Or something to that effect.
Well, Dr. PA felt she needed to share a medical aspect. She reminded him of her brush with breast cancer and sure, “everything” was benign, but some things may have still remained (or even have come back.)
Anything dormant or returning may not have be noticeable. Then, they became malignant. The speed of the malignant tissue and/or tumors metastasizing, could have spread so incredibly exponentially. It was only at that time the cancer appeared. Then, when it had affected so much of her body’s systems, she became terminally ill.
This woman woman was A ROCK.
I don’t know how much “a lot” is, but she definitely had her fair share. And never a stumble or a trip; always the craziest sense of humour and a smile that would crash any other rocks to bits!
She loved me. So much. Countless Sunday Family Dinners where we always joked, I was the “Surrogate <insert my name>” because it is the same as their daughter living to far away to attend the Sunday Family Dinners
Here is an ABSOTIVELY, POSOLUTELY INSANE example of how much she loved me. It was regarding one Sunday Family Dinner.
There would always be pie for dessert. I don’t really like fruit and they were always fruit pies. I would politely decline or maybe ask for just a tiny sliver (and then completely slather it in ice cream to get it down!)
One night, she asked me about pies. I told her I really didn’t like them. I didn’t like fruit ones, at least. I didn’t like fruit!
She looked at me squarely in the eyes and said there must be some kind of pie I liked. There were lots of them out there. I thought about pies. With all of these types of pies spinning around in my head, I thought maybe I didn’t like any!
Wait! Pumpkin! It’s not fruit! Yes!
I showed up for the next Sunday Family Dinner. She made a fruit pie for EVERYONE ELSE and a PUMPKIN PIE FOR JUST ME!!!
To hell with pumpkin pie?
I’m already an open book so I didn’t care what R. said to any of his family members about me. I was so close to them anyway! He told her a lot. Apparently.
No direct conversations or words were ever uttered, but countless times she would always say, “If you want to come over, you’re always welcome!”
That would mean I’d stay in R.’s bedroom. Wow. How many memories would that little space hold. I certainly would have liked to come to the house but I wondered if staying in his room might be a little TOO much.
The last time I saw her, after the last Sunday Family Dinner, she changed her suggestion to me. She knew I was alone. She knew I had so many problems. She knew I was in pain and in so much trouble at times. R. would have told her all my diagnoses; everything I have battled my entire life. I know he told her that I had tried to kill myself (more than once?) He visited me in the hospital for one before he went overseas!
Instead of, “If you want to come over, you’re always welcome!”
It was, “If you need a place to stay, you’ve got one here.”
CONTINUATION, POSTSCRIPT, WHATEVER:
R.’s mother died today, this morning, this was supposed to be a #FF post but when I found out? Fix this post, on Twitter, time was passing, “Crap! I gotta get out and do this now!” More…
I went out and shaved my head. Right down to #1. I’m pretty bald. And no pictures. This isn’t a sideshow.
I did it for her, others that have had an impact on me personally (family for sure!) Others I’ve I’ve worked with who are terminal. I get anemia infusions in hospital. I see the cancer patients on the other side of the floor getting chemo when I drag my tree to the bathroom there. On and on… I wanted to make a wig but my hair wasn’t long enough–even for a kid.
Wake the hell up people!!! And if you don’t know why I’m bald? If you don’t even ask? I’m going to scream why in your ears anyway!!!
I went out a bit. Dressed all in black. Quite formally and with my formal cane as well. I had a drink which I shouldn’t do. But under the circumstances? Fuck it. My own way of a wee mourn. Until the funeral comes around.