27 February 2008

I Can't Sleep

It's nearing 1 a.m. and who am I going to call at this hour? No one. So after trying to sleep for a while I give up and head downstairs and fire up the laptop. It has been a strange day.

My mother has been in and out of the hospital a number of times over the last month and she is understandably not happy about it. She is 85. I think, "how many times can she bounce back?" But she is tough.

My sister has taken her back to the doctor today and he is pleased. The medicine is working. Her lungs are clear. Her heart is strong. All her stats are better than they've been in years. He tells her she looks good and she protests that she doesn't feel good, she feels weak. He cuts back on her meds, which I am relieved to hear, and assures her that she is doing well and will be getting stronger. This is a good thing.

Later, we are on the phone an usual amount--so much so that hubby, who has been on the phone at work all day, too, declares that he isn't talking on the phone to anyone else tonight. He doesn't know it yet but he is wrong about this.

We settle in to watch The Biggest Loser, my one "must see" show, and the phone rings. We let it ring but then check messages, worried that it may be a call about my mother or his mother, who is older than my mother and also of precarious health. It is my cousin on the message, who asks us to call her back tonight.

I try to call her back but the line is busy. At 10:00 the show is over and I wonder if it is too late to call. I will call her tomorrow, I decide. At 10:15 she calls me and her husband is on the extension. She asks me to get hubby on the extension.

She tells us that her breast cancer has re-surfaced and this time it is inoperable.

We spend the next half hour trying to be a comfort and having no clue what to say. We hear the story of how she found out. We are all in shock. We are all sorry. We try to be optimistic without being trite or simplistic. We hope that the doctor is wrong and that she will beat the odds. We relay stories of people that have beaten the odds. With each word I say, I feel useless and stupid but I have to say something, even the wrong thing, because this is horrible.

I ask her what I can do to help. Bless her, she gives me a task--to send her cartoons/comics so she'll laugh. I can do that. I will do that.

We are being stared down by death and we don't want to look it in the eyes. We try to avert our gaze and keep our cousin squarely in our sites, simultaneously. What is there to say? A strained half-hour later we end the call, reinforcing the positive and vowing to stay in touch.

Hubby, who has been up since 5:00 am, is exhausted. Stress tends to make him shut down/sleep more and, with this added situation, he is asleep very quickly and I am glad he can sleep.

I toss and turn, no longer caring about Biggest Loser, no longer caring about the six meetings that are on my schedule tomorrow. I am trying to make sense of something that has no sense to it.

I try to remember my Reiki training, first sending healing energy to myself and then to my cousin, as the procedure dictates. And, then, for good measure, to my mother.

I silently vow to stay in better touch with all the people that I am taking for granted but who mean the world to me.

I give up trying to sleep and think, "maybe if I blog..."


DotMom said...

I am so sorry to hear about your cousin... I can't believe what her family must be going through at this moment..

lacochran said...

Thanks for your kind message.