Sunday, October 4, 2009

Moths In the Pantry

The moths in the pantry are back. I check the flour, the beans, and the couscous. I check the box of forgotten rice crispies...waiting for the marshmallows and butter. Nothing there.

I check the cereals. Gorilla Munch. No. Koala Krisps. Nothing. Then I see it. The box of Optimum wedged into the corner. It was his cereal. I kept thinking I'd eat it ... but even my desire to be close to him could not make me put milk in my body. I open the box and the months flutter free.

Suddenly I am smashing the moths between my fingers, crushing them between the lining of the bag and box, content on my devastation of them, wanting to get them all. And I stop.

Composure. The kids are up. Besides I would have to clean up the mess. I'm too tired to do that. And then I think of the release of not caring, how wonderful it would be to let it all go.

Later I am reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and hiding my sobs from the kids. Harry has just returned, Voldermort has risen again, and he saw a friend die. And while Harry is recounting the story, I can feel Dumbldore and Sirius's sadness watching as this boy recounts what he saw. And then I think of Cedric's parents and I have to stop reading for a moment. And I suck in my breath in.

I recount my emotions. The terror I felt when I first saw him on Sunday morning, his eye unable to focus, he responding only sometimes to my voice, and not at all to anyone else's. How I thought he was crazy to tell me "I'm OK" when he had a moment of complete clarity, recognized me and the concern and fear I must have been wearing. My surprise seconds later, at his response to "Honey, do you know where you are?" He said "Yes, I'm climbing up, I'm going up." And how later, those words would sit on me and so would the anger at not telling him then and there that I loved him.

The go-ahead-I-can-take-it attitude to the on-call doctor on Sunday night who asked my briskly "What is his code?" "In English please." I had said. "What are his resuscitation orders?" he asked in very plain English. And I said, without hiccupping, as if I were the professional, "Keep him alive till my kids can say good-bye to him."

The next day, when our oncologist came in and said "He is going to die. He will probably go within the week." And the relief I felt. Finally, someone had said "die."

And then watching him go. The way his breathing changed, the way his color changed, the coolness of his hands.

And I can't believe this is my life. And I want to cry, and curl up and just wait for all this to pass. I want to stay in bed and function enough to use the bathroom and occassionally eat. I want this world to go AWAY.

But it won't. There is school to attend, meetings to get to and clients to see. There are trips to be planned, food to be made or accepted. I must function.

Some have said that I am brave. "You have so much courage." And I want to laugh. It's not courage. My back is up against the wall. The only reason I'm standing is because it's supporting me.


  1. Love that last paragraph. That says it all.

  2. Wow, exactly the last paragraph. Thanks for being here Kim.