When you are trying to come to grips with the trifecta of having lost a child, lost the relationship with her mother, and dealing with the harsh reality of your body requiring outside assistance to get things in order; I’m not sure you can look at it as anything more than a vicious cycle. Trying to find a place where you feel safe within yourself and safe with the people around you, makes more for moments of good followed by moments of bad. A Tale of Two Extremes?
The holiday season is the worst for people who have lost a child. Especially if that child is very young. Ads beating down on you from every form of media. Toys ads on the television, ads for some movie while you’re driving to work, and the constant reminder that this is a holiday for casting aside a years worth of everything so that you break the bank buying, buying, buying! I can’t walk into any store without being slapped in the face with a reminder that she’s gone. In what would have been her first Christmas, I’m hoping that some medical thing occurs so that I’m temporarily removed from the playing field. Sort of sleep through the holiday.
This is also the first time in 11 Christmases that I won’t be spending any time with Whitney. The desire to get her something still exists within me. I even saw something in a circular from the newspaper that had me excited for a brief time, something I knew she would have enjoyed. Something she might not have even known about, much like the gifts she has given me over the years. Books on John Adams, Lego Star Wars toys for me to play with [yes, I’m 42!], but most of all she doesn’t know that I used to love sitting on the floor with her and just watching the expression on her face while I opened them. This crocked little grin, because she knew what was in the box. Knowing I was going to lean over after every single item and give her a kiss. Four feet of distance between us, no one else around; this year there I don’t know how I’m going to make it through. Just the other day, my mother admitted to me that she misses Whitney greatly. Still worries about how she is doing, still wants to ensure she is eating properly; she still worries. I love my mom!
The medical issues are a constant fluctuating affair. One day I’m fine and the next my hands are shaking so badly I have to hold them so that the people around me don’t notice. This Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma – a lovely hybrid growth that shows signs of being two very different types of tumor – complicating my desire to have Whitney around. It’s scary stuff! I’m not going to say I have some brave face, I don’t. There are times when the weight of it all is so much I breakdown and just cry. Knowing she was called while I was last in the hospital because she was listed as being the individual who was legally allowed to make decisions for me, because it was determined I couldn’t; and I heard nothing from her. I’ve written before about waking up and calling out her name, the daze of morphine and whatever they used for the medically induced coma. Nothing like a Psychiatrist asking questions later, to assess how I was dealing with having lost the ability to control my own fate, “Do you think Whitney still loves you?” Please put me back under!!!! Even now I can’t answer that one.
When I look back at the last few months, it has been the worst of times. I try to remember what it felt like to sit there and listen the a child’s heartbeat, struggle to forget the electric feel of Whitney’s hand in mine, and cope with the daily knowledge that I let ever doctor’s call roll to my voicemail. My neighbor’s daughter, who is both studying to be a neurosurgeon and is extremely religious told me that December was going to make me happy. But then she didn’t know the other things going on in my life, just a statement she made while I was walking out to the mailbox, in my robe, meekly waving in her general direction.
Bring on a good time, even for an afternoon. Because I’m lost right now, hurting so badly I don;t know when it will stop. And worst of all I keep reaching out to talk to someone who won’t even acknowledge I’m alive.