It is Wednesday.
On Wednesdays I get to sit in this lovely little atrium. Glass walls and a sloping glass ceiling looking out onto a pleasant flower garden. The sun shines through the panes over the leaves making little shadows on the thick pile, well padded carpet.
Fashionable, comfortable chairs and sofas. Scattered coffee tables....the copies of The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and US News and World Report far outnumber the likes of People and Cosmo. Praise God. The table lamps have the less-energy-efficient-old-fashion-light-bulbs. Not those spiral CFL's that are too bright for my eyes...and remind me of an ugly pig's tail.
There is a rock and water fountain in the corner. The soft babbling might sound soothing if not for the constant ringing of the telephone:
"Doctors A and Y's office...Betty speaking...."
Wednesday is my Mama's chemotherapy day.In a fashion similar to some journalist attached to a military unit deployed in active combat...for the past seven weeks we have been embedded in a battle alongside my Mama.
Not completely unexpected...
we knew last December that we'd be in for a fight.
I've taken to taking my laptop with me. It is a several hour visit each week, most of which Mama sleeps through. No internet access - but hey - my digital photographs are almost all organized and captioned.
I sit with these folks every Wednesday. We are an interesting band of accidental comrades...embedded together with our rag tag army of loved ones fighting against cancer. I don't really want to be friends with these people. I don't really want to know about who they are embedded with. I don't really want to know their stories. Most of all...I don't really want to see in their faces the reflection of my own obligatory strength...or my pain...or my fear.
Unlike the journalist on the evening news, being embedded puts me in no physical danger. There is no one shooting at me. (In fact, I am the one doing the shooting... although my weapon is a syringe.)
I am not arrogant enough to claim to be out of harm's way. My Mama's sickness and its symptoms wound me deeply. Last December I bandaged my wounds tightly...to protect myself from further injury. It is possible I wrapped them too tightly to heal. It frightens me to expose them...they may hurt me too much.
I have not been myself. I have let my life sidetrack. I have become dependant on the wrong things.
The past month....during this most recent skirmish my words have gone AWOL...absent with out leave. Even now the transfer of thought through fingertip comes out disjointed. My attention span schizoids. There are a dozen half-started posts in my writer that I have little interest in revisiting.
I have been unable to find that voice inside of me that lessens the turmoil in my brain...although I have learned many lessons about the turmoil in my brain.
and yeah...I bring my better angels to every fight...