Wednesday, June 3, 2009

only once

I've felt so angry today.

I woke up after weird vivid dreams (Dave Matthews called up and praised me as "so amazing"--and wanted me to be the special hander-out on the stage of special sculpted ice cubes to select audience members from a silver tray at his next concert the following afternoon. Unfortunately, there was a bomb scare that turned into an actual bombing at the restaurant where we went to breakfast, so we had to spend the day in the cellar of the store next door, and so I missed that hot opportunity, and even the appointment we had to lunch with our favorite nurse, Pat) and, thinking in my drowsy bed, the weight of the next year hit so hard. I think, although I've always intellectually known otherwise, that my little heart has been thinking of chemo as an event rather than a 9-months-plus process. As in, "chemo will make him lose his hair, and then it will grow back." No. Chemo has made him lose most of his hair and then they'll increase the dose and then all of his hair and his lashes and eyebrows will be gone and then it still won't work enough and so they'll switch to something else that gives him mouth sores even though he escaped those with the current combination and then he will find our mother-son breastfeeding nourishing bonding too painful to find solace or nourishment there and we'll have to tape an NG (feeding) tube to his cheek that has lost that newborn down, that kissably soft velvet that graces the youngest and sweetest cheeks and now they'll be red with tape and Tegaderm irritation and he will still be losing weight and because he is a baby his memory will be short and there will be lots of joyful moments and he won't care that he missed out on crawling because his shoulder didn't work right and even if he loses function or parts of his arm he'll never miss it because he won't remember but I will because he will only be 6 months once and only 7 months once (tomorrow!) and because frankly age 6-12 months is the most cherubically beautiful baby curls thick lashed soft cheeked roly-tumbling time of your entire life and I don't count on my children's futures much anymore, just their present, but I thought looking a couple months ahead wasn't really tempting fate but I guess I was wrong and still I already miss you so much, fat and healthy golden-curled 10-month boy, crawling around my house and wreaking havoc with all of your sisters' tiny treasures. I just feel so cheated.

So I created us a moment, and we shared chocolate today. Because you're only going to be 6 months old and tasting chocolate for the first time once.

Remember what was in that wrapper? Oh, yes.(Audrey learned to crawl driven by her desire for Scrabble tiles. I'm starting to test the same principle.)

I did all of those things that are supposed to help: I took a long walk with a neighbor trying to find solace in an empathetic ear and a couple of miles of exercise, and two different friends from church took Reuben shifts. I had breaks and got exercise and made unpacking progress. But the storm in my chest has been surging all day and the canyons in my forehead are steep. I've had a hard time feeling the joy in my son's today and that, too, builds my anger. Because I might as well be mad at myself, too. To sleep, then. Reuben is just starting to fuss and I can just leave all those bathroom boxes in the hall for one more day...

8 comments:

Mary Anne said...

Sometimes it just helps to FEEL the anger, let it sink in a little so that it can . . . eventually . . . be shaped into something strong. Know that your anger and honesty helped at least one person today. I was angry last night over something much less important, so thank you for putting things into perspective. Sending love your way.

sgraham said...

You just vent away. Call me and vent to me. I know I can't do anything, but I will listen and let you throw all your anger my way. You've earned that right.

Meg said...

Oh, Val. It must be so hard and I believe in venting too. Please know you can vent at me too, I will also listen if you need me to as well. Know I am thinking of you, I am sending you my love.

Braden said...

Distance precludes an empathetic ear, but will an empathetic comment help at all? You write so well and you communicate your pain in a very powerful way. My heart breaks for your situation.

nweames said...

Glad your angry! You should be! Life just isn't fair! Babies should not get cancer (frankly, no one should) and parent's should not have to deal with it!

Snippety Gibbet said...

I'd be angry too if I were you.
And I definitely think that you deserve to be honored by Dave Matthews at a concert and allowed to hand out sculpted ice cubes. I'm glad that you have friends there who look out for you and make sure you get some down time, relatively speaking.

He is a beautiful little boy, and I'm sad to think of him losing his hair. He deserves to have some chocolate in his life.

As always, you and your's are in my thoughts and prayers. jan

Natalie Daines said...

I don't know what to say, Val. I love your descriptive honesty, and hate that it is so real. Nothing I say makes it go away. But I wish it would. Many prayers from my heart for you, and your sweet boy.

Kathi D said...

You are so brave and so good. It stinks that you don't have three perfectly healthy children. If I would try to figure out how this happened to you, I would guess that God must have known that he could trust you with his precious, slightly broken babies more than anybody else he could think of.