I am tired tonight. Just tired. Tired of hurting, tired of being in pain, tired of OH so many things in my life I have ‘settled’ for & sick & tired of being tired.
Then 1 hr ago I get a call from my mother-in-law, (Jack’s mom) telling me she has gotten the results of her test. She has Stage 3 cancer & next Thursday she is to have her breast removed.
I was astounded and angry and scared and I couldn’t stop crying which upset her even more but I cannot help being an overly sensitive person She understands & accepts this about me. But I was crying not just b/c she has cancer, not b/c she is having part of herself removed forever but just b/c what a crap shoot full of shit life is sometimes and women like Alta should never go thru something like this.
The year Jackie died, (1988) she also lost one of her brothers, one of her sisters, and her grand-mother.
The following November, she lost her middle daughter and another sister.
Six years ago, she lost her other brother and another sister and her mother.
Five years ago, one of her grand-daughters died from complications out of a house fire.
Last year, her husband Charles, was diagnosed with Cancer and just finished up his last chemo treatment and now this-
I have so many things to say about her and not one word I can come up with is worthy of being used. Not for her, not for Alta for she is beyond description, beyond the shallow words that any language could drag up and I don’t know what to say.
I can say I love this woman beyond measure, beyond thought, beyond the love any one person should probably bestow upon another but I do and yet even these words fail what I want to say and words so very seldom fail me.
My fingers cannot convey onto this page what searing pain my heart is burning with right now, and I just dont’ know what to do.
I am 150 miles from her side and that is where I want to be. She has always been there for me, always.
She accepted me from the first time Jack brought me home to meet them.
She has called me her daughter from the day we married.
And she continued to do so after he died.
My children are her grandchildren, even the two who aren’t related to them by blood, they are related by love and to Alta & Charles, that is all that ever has mattered or counted in this life or needed to be.
I could’ve brought home purple-skinned children with antennas & six eyes & she still would call them her grandchildren & loved them anyway.
She knows no bounds when it comes to love.
She has always told me she loved me.
She loves me more than my own mother did, could, would or tried to.
She is a mom to me.
She has never said a harsh word to me or any one of my children.
I am older now than they were when I first walked into their lives
And I am scared to lose either of them and OH how they have aged thru the years. Aged, but not changed and they’ve been married now for over 50yrs They met in an orphanage & have never left each other’s side since. If there ever was a truth in soul mates or a love to last thru all things or a marriage to want to follow thru life, it would be theirs.
But next Thursday, she is to have surgery and I am going to try to be there for her, I dont know if they will let me off work or not but I can try. I can’t just leave her there, with Charles still sick and when they were with me thru all the times with Jack in the hospital, how could I? I should be there if for nothing more than to hold Charles’ hand.
I am scared, so very, VERY scared for I dont want to lose this woman who has grown to mean more to me than any one could.
I need to tell her I love her, I need to tell her tho I know she knows and I’ve said it a zillion times. I need to tell her again how grateful I am for the boy she had, the child she raised and the man she shared with me until he died.
I need to hold her hand, hug her close to my heart, let her know how much a part of it she fills and she has filled it, filled in so many of the cracks my own mother left, healed over so many of the scars she inflicted on it and I know it will break if something happens to her.
It is her left breast.
The one that covers her heart.
I know that she is not her ‘breast’ she is a person who happens to have breasts, they do not define who she is- but it is to these breasts she has nursed four babies, comforted scores of tears, held broken hearts within her arms and lulled sick children to sleep with the comfort of her beating heart.
I doubt she will miss this breast, she is not a vain woman by any means. I just worry that once it is removed; but what will cushion and keep warm that great heart of hers that thumps so wonderfully in the chest of this woman who has nothing but love for everyone and means the world to me and my children?
I am being selfish I know, for I wish I could weave a magic spell around the two of them and keep them whole and lively forever.
But, magic spells didn’t work with Jackie, he still died and sadly, I know that one day I shall have to say goodbye to them too.
I just dont’ want to.
Not right now, not yet
I am scared.
Being scared for me is one thing, being scared about someone else is wrenching.
I need to go cook something.
Why? B/c when I cook I can get rid of a LOT of anger-I can beat, whip, chop, mince, cut, slash, rip and slice the shit out of something and OH my how it feels good to beat out my anger when my God is too far away to slap.