I’d say those were worst-case scenarios. But then, I’ve had a few of those in my life. Enough to know that they happen.
I still choose to get up each day and smile fiercely at the sun. Sure, maybe sometimes that smile looks more like a grimace of pain. Yet despite trisomy 18, despite grief of unimaginable magnitude, despite leukemia, despite Alzheimers, dementia, and mental illness, I choose to dig in my garden, to read books, to write, to cherish my children, the living and the dead, to kiss my husband, and to keep striving towards … whatever it is we strive towards—maybe just being a better person in the world. Maybe just spreading compassion and love.
“Are you telling me that she has leukemia?” I manage to gasp out.
“I’m so sorry,” her voice strained, “but I want you to take her to the hospital today. I’m hoping this is just a mix-up, some lab error. We need to recheck it to be sure.”
I hear stirring on the deck. Matthew is carefully lifting Rose up, wrapped in her blankets. He brings her to the car and lays her on the gurney. Normally, I would help, but COVID renders me useless. Resting a hand on Roses’s head, he says to me without turning, “you’re an angel.”
For the briefest second, I entertain saying “tell my kids that.” Angel is not a word I think I’ve EVER been called, not in 41 years. I am many things, but angelic is not one of them. Still, I am honored that they see me as such.
My body is strong and capable. Treating it poorly is not the answer to my sorrows. In fact, it almost seems like an insult to those who yearn to use their bodies but cannot.
The world is in turmoil. COVID-19 has upended lives, devastated economies, and somehow drawn even sharper political lines in an already deeply divided country.
I’m tired of being told that I’m strong and resilient and all of the other things that people say. I am not strong. There is no alternative. If I break, to what end?
Your chick died today.
It’s ok that I’m not perfectly patient and understanding and sympathetic every minute. Even if Hazel does have cancer. It’s ok that I’m angry on the inside and stressed and didn’t want to play Go Fish. It’s ok. It’s ok. It’s ok.
Is everyone feeling like this?