rewind blip

26 06 2010

One year ago today was a Friday. I’d taken the afternoon off, and my sistah-gurl Delightful and I were fetching bawdy provisions for another close friend’s weekend bachelorette soirree at a lakehouse. I had wicked cramps all weekend, and was clawing my way into being sociable, but managed OK (I think). I adore the gals, and wouldn’t have missed it for the world, and fortunately our idea of a bawdy evening mostly consisted of Michael Jackson dancing and Ouija board shenannigans. Oh yeah, and Amish butter. (That stuff is like crack.)

It was also the day that mother went into the hospital for “back pain”, but I wouldn’t know it until a few days later. (And I wouldn’t know about the cancer, or the falling, or any of the rest of it for a goodly while even after that.)

I still don’t have the real details about why/when/how this first hospital stay really started, only snippets and fragments that I’ve pieced together in some kind of mosaic picture. I’ve thought about my side of the experience (how could I not?), but what strikes me now is how unsure and unsettling this particular day must’ve been for her. Other than maternity stuff, she’d never stayed in a hospital, or had any surgeries, or anything prior to then.

She had to chose to rely on a (very dear) neighbor to bring her 60 miles to the hospital, and stubbornly kept the whole thing a secret. Looking back, we know now that the tumors were affecting her brain at this point, but oh the burden that must’ve been on her and her kindhearted friend. That German stubborn streak runs deep, and she would never admit she was frightened, but she had to have been scared shitless.

And despite the best neighbor/friend/angel that was helping her out, she must’ve felt very alone, too.

She lived by herself for so long, and was so damned Independent (with a capital I), that it bit her in the ass. I confess, I tend to be Independent a bit myself too, but the lightbulb is starting to flicker on for me sometimes– so some independence is a good thing, but is too much really fear (Oh yeah? I don’t need you FIRST.), arrogance (I’m so wonderful I can do it myself…), anger (…screw you very much), or just plain ignorance (dunno whatcha dunno) in disguise? So I’ve tried to purposely be a little less Independent. It’s tough. I’m working on it. And I fail sometimes. But what’s weird is it’s allowed me to finally start to see the support that’s been around me the whole time.

*sigh* Who knew?  (Yeah, I know: YOU knew, but I was clueless.)

Why in hell she didn’t let me know then (or before then) what was going on will always baffle me. I’ll keep struggling and hopefully continue to make progress finding harmony around independence myself. I just wish she could’ve too– that pigheaddedness means she missed out on a lot of goodness.

You might not’ve learned it for yourself, Momma, but because of that, you accidentally helped teach it to me. Thanks. I’ll keep trying to learn, promise.

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10 responses

26 06 2010
Sara

I didn’t know you felt bad that weekend. What a trooper. I loved it that you were there. I also love how well you’ve handled yourself this year. You mom would be proud of you I think.

27 06 2010
geauxgirl

Thanks, friend. She would’ve been doing MRI’s yesterday. So she didn’t even know yet at this point. Ugh. I’m able to piece together some of it, just from the medical bill details.

26 06 2010
Sara

Dude, I should read what I write before I submit comments.

26 06 2010
delightfuleccentric

Hm. The thought of trying to be less Independent freaks me out a little. I have no problem asking for help if I need, say, a wheelchair, but if I just need a pair of crutches? I’m going to be out behind my place foraging for wood to build myself a pair.

But here’s the thing – I don’t WANT to be that Independent. It’s just something I HAVE to be.

Do you think you’re mom chose it? Or do you think it’s just something she had to do, and it became ingrained?

27 06 2010
geauxgirl

If she could’ve walked by herself she wouldn’t have even had the neighbor, because the physical part was the ONLY reason she asked for help at all. Because she literally HAD to. I’m really meaning more emotionally Independent. She had walled herself off from everyone.

Let’s see… Marriage #1. (and having me) Love of her life that she pushed away when I was little (who they both still carried a torch, I saw him at the funeral). Marriage #2. (Having Kirk.). Nevermind men, all relationships: her friends all through the years (and if she ever had a single argument with one, they were NEVER quite the same). Her relationship with her sister. And with the Maternal side of the extended family. And with the Paternal side of the extended family. And how ours changed over the years too.

She assumed everyone knew what she was thinking. But yet wouldn’t tell anyone anything. Infuriating.

Crapola, what a pattern. Emotionally walled off, indeed. I think another lightbulb just went on for me, gotta chew on that for a while.

Yeah, sometimes people hurt you, but it’s not because of you, it’s a flaw or godforbid just a random human mistake in them. (I ain’t perfect, I unintentionally hurt people, I can’t expect others to be perfect either.) And it’s not the end of the world if I get hurt, no matter what the pain is at the time. Plus the happiness/laughter/love/bliss/warmth/etc you get from the times it doesn’t go wrong, FAR outweighs the bad. You just have to not obsess on the few bits that go badly.

Seems like it boils down to this: It’s a big risk to open your heart & expose your soft underbelly—she simply never figured out how to do that.

And that? I do NOT want to perpetuate.

27 06 2010
geauxgirl

Post script: Lawdy, that was as long as the freakin’ original post!

27 06 2010
amy

pass the Kleenex, please. I don’t have any words except……love ya’, mean it **sniffle, sniffle**

29 06 2010
geauxgirl

miss my friend!

28 06 2010
izziedarling

I officially adore you. In a friend/twin way. I was much like your mother for too long. And it took a lot of heartache, paring my life down to the vitals and creating a new one, forcing myself to get rid of the “shut down” valve I used to prevent possible “hurts”, and slowly but surely admitting to anyone and everyone that yes, I can be strong but I can be weak, too. It has changed my life. You are so smart to have this figured out earlier. You go, girl. xo 🙂

29 06 2010
geauxgirl

aw, shucks.

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