Breaking. People are breaking around me, dropping pieces of their bitter selves at my feet. What am I supposed to do with these pieces? They’re sharp. If I pick up the pieces, they’ll cut my hands. My back will break under the weight. My lips will turn to prunes as they hold words back. Words like, I don’t want to, or, I don’t have that day open. So, I make the day open. I make myself want to be there for my breaking people.
I don’t know what to do. I’m established. I’m busy. I’m not yet breaking, or sick, or pulled apart like clouds in a dark sky. Still, all these breaking people want me to join them, and I don’t know which dance card will get my name written across each line.
Who will get me?
There’s my sister: she is dark and insistent. Her eyes are lidded, made heavy by worry, or medicine, or both. I’m not sure she comprehends what I’m saying. Her eyes watch me with intention. I think she understands, and then she says she doesn’t. There is some sort of concern about electronic medical transmission. I explain—again—that medical test results are transmitted that way now. It’s okay, I say. She turns her head and closes her eyes, as if there is nothing left of her, nothing to keep her eyes from shutting down. Pieces of her spill out like light from behind a closed door. She could open that door if only she could find the key deep in her pocket. But she doesn’t know how to reach for it any more. Reaching is beyond her years and I can’t find it for her. I can only try to notice her elegant grace as she lumbers through this day.
Then there are my grandboys. My Teeny Tiny Boys. Their father seems to have abandoned them and their mother. My daughter struggles to provide. When they are with me, they throw their arms across my neck and say, I love you, MeeMee. I melt across the floor. They are babies and I am their MeeMee. We play Spider Man and Iron Man and the three-year old makes his voice sound like PeeWee Herman. I. Am. Iron. Man. The four-year old is more delicate; he is a snuggler. We watch movies and eat Mac & Cheese and try not to notice the deepening shadows that consume my daughter’s twelve-hour work days.
Finally, there is My Dan. He’s like a star just recovering from lung cancer and before that, prostate cancer. He is my love, my husband, my forevermore. Now he’s scheduled for a bilateral kidney angiogram. Seems he has a kidney artery thing that might be compromising his blood pressure, and they might need to do a stent thing or something-or-other to fix it all. We’ve decided that will be the end of that. The end. The grand Taa Daa! Then we shall live out peaceful days until we quietly slip off into whatever future is ours. We decided that on our way home from the doctor’s office. We decided that.
So, it seems that if I can manage to make it through the next couple of months, we’ll be better. My sister needs convincing to move to a place where folks can care for her. My Dan will have his kidney artery stented or tented or whatever it is that medical folks do to narrowed arteries. And my Teeny Tiny boys will continue to hug my neck, and we will all be inspired by the bravery of Spider Man.
And then, maybe somewhere between it all, I can slip off to somewhere cool, with tall trees and grassy meadows. Maybe Seattle or Portland. Or somewhere Northeast or Southeast where I’ve never been. I’m entertaining suggestions. Maybe I can even find a hurricane to huddle beneath that would remind me of what I might be missing.
And that’s the way it is today at the old Bloggybirdry.