Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A three days kind of post

Today is Wednesday. The third day. Three days. 

Because I don't know how to introduce this... I don't know how to tell the story without telling the end first, here it is:

My mother has leukemia. 

Every time I have started a post to tell you a story and explain this fact, I have deleted it. Every time I have been tempted by my ever present desire to share this news via facebook, I have deleted it. Every time I tell someone, I choke on tears. They may not see them or hear the choke in my throat, but I feel it all in the depths of my being. 

My mother has leukemia.

I found out three days ago. She has known for months. She didn't want to burden me with the news, because my father has stage IV laryngeal cancer and my grandfather was dying and I was losing my job, and she thought (like the martyred heroine she is) that I couldn't handle it, so she would wait. 

My mother has leukemia. 

I have cried every day for so many days, I am no longer sure I know how to fall asleep without tears. I can only sing the songs in choir that are not familiar or not in English, because we are practicing our Christmas selections and Christmas songs make me cry. I can't listen to my favorite comfort music, because my favorite comfort music is music I listen to with my mother (Rod Stewart and Chicago) and that makes me cry. I can't take walks, because I like to walk with my mother, and that makes me cry. 

My mother has leukemia.

Monday I wanted to stop at her work and give her a hug, but I didn't because I didn't know if I would be able to drive away. I am afraid of being with her because I want to be brave and strong and cheerful, because she's the one with the Leukemia, not me, but I'm not sure I can be. I am working on it. I'll get there. I'm getting better at explaining it to people. I'm going to see her tomorrow. 

My mother has leukemia.

When daddy got sick it was terrifying because I didn't know how to take care of him like a loving daughter and I loved my father. When Grandpa died it was devastating because he was my very identity and my very solid foundation and I missed him so. But my mother... I do not make sense without her. I am not human without her. She is because I am. I know that doesn't make sense, but she lives and breathes her children and I am her daughter, the only one she has, and I am her best friend. She is my mother. My mutti. My mommy. Mom... please. 

My mother has leukemia. 

She won't die soon. Probably. She's not so sick. Hopefully. She's just tired and that's okay. I can take care of tired. I am happy to take care of tired. I am thrilled at the chance to care for my mother. There is no hesitation  and no fear of the care taking. It is only the end idea that frightens me. It is only the anger that once again my life has a tragedy. A purpose again in illness (I refuse to say in death). Somehow my heart is broken beyond recognition. 

My mother has leukemia. 

and here the smallest of small voices makes this one small confession, "I have no dreams remaining. Grad School is over. Marriage is over. Babies are over. The Middle East is over." Because I cannot leave here. I cannot go knowing she is ill and I am away from her. And this, while my choice and my need to stay, not hers and not obligation, breaks my heart. 

i love you mom.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Still mourning...

I'm not a big mourner. I usually mourn for a bit, and then life takes over and I move on.

I've had a lot of practice with death. I'm not so afraid of it. It can be peaceful. And this death was peaceful.

But it still sneaks up on me at the strangest times: Driving on the freeway, putting on my make up, taking off my shoes. He is still there in my heart and he is still dead. I am still broken. It's all still not right.

I'll be back when this is over. For now, I am resting in my grief.