Momma is sick.
I keep having these strange reveries, when my mind goes down dark tunnels of worry. I don’t return until the horn and angry face in the rear view help me realize I’m sitting still at a green light.
I’m staring at my open contacts case and wonder why it’s empty, to suddenly realize it’s because my contacts are still in my eyes.
I’m standing in the shower ’till the water runs cold but can’t remember if I shampooed my hair.
Those dark alleys of anxiety have one focus: my mom. Her diagnosis. Her prognosis. And the huge team of medical professionals standing all along the way shrugging their shoulders.
Some sympathetic friends have asked how old she is, then dismissed my concern because she is ‘older’. I understand. I get it. I used to think 68 was incredibly old.
My fiercely independent mother has turned into a toddler. One with the vocabulary of a 50 year old drunken sailor. Every time she eats, she says ‘icky yucky poo poo’. She’s on a strictly liquid diet. When she gets frustrated she tosses out the trio of expletives she favors most “S.F. D.” When she bumps into something (she’s blind) or hears something drop she says “Oopsies”.
When I say my heart breaks, I mean I can actually feel the heavy pieces weighing down my chest. Thick hunks slough off like an avalanche.
Just when I think I’m done crying, whole new wells spring up. Where does it all come from? Mining roughnecks would find an endless supply.
Most of the time I cry silently. The thick lump in my throat so hard to swallow. I want to protect my Abby, who has rarely left my side. My darling Scott does all he knows to comfort. He is a rock. Sometimes I cry loudly with great gasps of air. Once I cried ferociously . . . I’ve only been alone that one time. The sound of it scared me. I pushed that grief back down. Do I dare make a promise to never allow myself to cry like that again? It’s a promise I’m not sure I can keep.
The tincture of time.
This is the phrase the doctor used when explaining that the team was “a big bucket of I don’t know”. He said we have to wait. Wait and see if anything changes. Wait and run tests against. Wait. So, that’s what we’ll do. With broken hearts and unending tears. We’ll wait.