Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I've got Death on the brain.

*SIGH* I've literally made myself sick over it (stomach ache AND a head ache today). My grandmother is going in for her hip replacement surgery next week. It's just reminding me that she is vulnerable, that she is human, that no one lives forever. I used to live in a world of denial...a world where, for the most part, people I knew just DIDN'T die. (other than my grandmother who passed when I was 13, I had not really experienced "death"). Then as an adult of 24 years, my grandfather died. Well, it was a shock (not expected, as he was only in his 60's at the time) but still, it's your grandfather. It's upsetting. And yet, you KNOW you will see your grandparents die. You know that, right?

Then Dad got sick. Terminally. I still can't describe to anyone, not even in writing, the way my insides felt when he said, "April, I have cancer." I can try to describe it, I guess: It's partially that feeling you get at a fair/carnival on the ride where the floor drops out from beneath you and literally, your stomach plunges. It's the feeling of nausea, whether from alcohol or illness, and the subsequant puking afterwards--that pull and heave of your insides. It's a pain in your heart--like the feeling of a sharp-tipped arrow piercing the most tender, the most fragile, part of your whole body. Like the pain of stepping barefoot on shards of glass. It's kinda like that--and NOTHING like that. Do you get me? It's indescribeable.

And then Dad died. And that world of mine was in a serious upheaval, despite the fact that we knew Death was coming. It had already tap, tap, tapped at his door and it was just a matter of time before Dad had finally opened it wide. And the day Death took him from us, it was a beautiful day. Balmy, the sun a glorious lemon-yellow orb in the bluest of skies, no clouds to mar the beauty of it. Like a final slap in the face, that's what that weather was. Where were the angry clouds? The dark, raging purple-tinged skies? Where was the downpour, the heavy pounding of rain like tears upon our cheeks?

Okay, I'm totally digressing as I feel it all over again. What started this whole speech is that I'm worried about my mother. Her health continues it's slow yet steady decline. Despite the fact that I have NO IDEA when her time will be, I worry it will come sooner than I am mentally prepared for. Mom is fifty three years old. She's already outlived Dad, who died at fifty one, four years ago. I want her to last another ten, twenty years. Can I have that? Please? I want her to see me get married, to fill in for Daddy who can't walk me down the aisle. I want my mother to see her grandchildren being born, growing, hear them call her "Nana". Something that was taken from my own father. Before he died, Dad told me he was sorry he would never get to hold his grandchild in his arms. Is that too much to ask for my mother? Am I being selfish for wanting this when some people don't have this at all?

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