This week one of my best friends spent some time with me. I admire this woman so much from her ability to think the best of me to her zest for life she has with her wonderful husband, who happens to be my good friend too. As we revisited in conversation some of our happier times, I am reminded that life didnt always hurt this much. This chapter of my life is dominated by losing my child and now cancer. I cannot adjust to this type of world where my heart is so heavy and my future feels uncertain and scary. How do you dance around these enormous elephants which sit on my chest? I feel so unrelatable. Yes, an alien among my own as others check in before returning to their what appears to me to be a normal life.
After losing Amy, I felt lost but now I feel as though I have lost all semblance of myself. Chemo has taken a toll as I search for reasons to believe I can indeed survive. Why am I such a doubting Thomas? My instincts want to warn me that after all I lost Amy which ultimately banished me from a warm and fuzzy comforting faith and trust which my world no longer provides. The cancer has banished me even more into a solitary abyss.
Guilt sets in as soon as I write the word solitary. My husband could have run for the hills but instead has been by my side every step of the way. My dear sweet man whom I met almost 40 years ago. Neither of us signed up for any of this. One look into this man’s sad brown eyes tell his tale of what this has been like for him. My heart is bursting with love and compassion for my Johnny.
Solitary doesnt begin to describe a woman whose two children have done everything and more to support and love me through this awful time. My most precious prized role as mother … true or not, the way I feel is as though I am a fraction of the woman they call Mom. My son and daughter were thrust into a role and life they do not deserve. Wasnt losing their beloved sister enough? But now they are my caretakers. My son sleeps on the couch next to my bed a few nights a week to give his father a break. My precious daughter tries to keep everything upbeat and picks up my slack whenever she can. Both of my kids have demanding jobs and having a sick mom has to be a drain on their already taxed emotions. As a mom, it is my job to bring them up not down. I love my children with my entire heart. I never ever kept any of that love in reserve. My children own my heart and I wouldnt have it any other way. Many people believe Amy is helping me from her side but I am not comfortable asking her for help or putting that responsibility on my child.
My mom, sisters and brothers all love and support me. My sisters take care of me after chemo. The 100 miles between us never stops them from rushing to my side. I know it must be excruiating for them to see me in such a broken state. It is humiliating what they have to do for me sometimes and I see the compasssion in their eyes. My mom is as sweet as a mom can be and I know she feels helpless to make it all better for me. I feel the same helplessness with my children.
My friends who have stuck by me are beyond wonderful. Some of the friends I counted on to be there are not. When Amy died, I lost friends but its different losing them because I am sick. Bailing on me after Amy’s sudden passing made me angry and hurt like hell. Losing friends because I have cancer just makes me sad. The first three months after my diagnosis is a complete fog but I now realize who is gone and I only have the energy to appreciate those who have stuck around. My love and appreciation for those who choose to stick by me has taught me about true friendship. I hope and pray I can reciprocate should they need me.
And lastly, there is my dog, Bailey. A more devoted loyal being would be hard to find.
Currently, all of my relationships are lopsided because I need all of the loved ones I addressed in this post. Thank you for sticking around with this lost soul. I love each and everyone of you.
What happened to me? I still dont know what hit me. Its the truth. Nothing in this world prepared me for for this chapter in my life.
Always, always remembering my sweet beautiful lovely Amy Marie. Oh how I miss you!