About 2 a.m. on Saturday night the nurse came walking into the room and asked if everything was alright. My first reaction was to think about the amount of noise I was making, but she told me it was the wires leading from my chest letting them know I was up. Politeness had entered the conversation and what she really wanted to know was if I need some help getting up and into the bathroom. She got a good laugh and I just shook my head. But then she did something simple, sat down in the chair next to me and ask if I just wanted some company.
For me, asking anyone for help is hard. It’s not that I don’t need it from time to time, but the build-up to what are sometimes difficult conversations make me try even harder to find a solution for myself. Saturday was not one of those times where I could go it alone. Even if I wanted to get up, my head was placed inside this silly set of pillow-like restraints to ensure I didn’t bounce around my already scrambled brain.
When I woke up that morning it was to the sight of something wonderful, Kathy, Susie and my mother were sitting there trying to show each other the progress they had made with some knitting projects they had each started to pass the time. My tears were a mixture of joy and a bit of the painkillers wearing off from the new hole in my head! Everyone can picture that scene.
So when I was talking to the nurse, it was about something I missed about my home. Before I left it was very important to me to finally get into the ground some tree that represented my daughter. I had also decided to include one for my aunt who had passed away over the winter. (no worries there, 94 is a good long life!) When I went to the nursery they had three remaining plants sitting by the side of the building. Seems the world had wanted to change out things for the Spring. I took all three and threw them in the back of my dad’d SUV and drove home.
(sorry for the picture quality, but it’s what I had in my Dropbox account!)
Three Spirea bushes that will flower/ have flowered a mixture of purple and pinks. Colors that are feminine, delicate, and remind me of what became some weird memory of three women. My daughter, my aunt, and this is where it takes a strange twist, the ex! I felt she deserved to be there with our daughter even if we aren’t speaking.
My companion sort of lost her calm demeanor upon hearing that point. (They had been warned about a few things that could pop up in conversations with me due to the drugs from the surgery. So something done out of respect and concern for this particular person, they didn’t anticipate that development.)
“Why would you do something like that? Seems sort of pointless…”
But that exactly the reason why. In this entire conversation we don’t talk using someone’s name, in this case my daughter. On these pages I never write it down because it’s sacred to me. Sharing it is so very hard to begin with, all of the things that go with that pain, so I needed to keep a portion of it to myself. Why the additional tree? I had to learn to let that part of my life go as well. Today when they discharge me, a year to the day since I last spoke with the ex while holding her hand while she was in the emergency room; I need to come to terms with all of that.
The ex’s favorite color is purple, kids change their minds so many times who knows what the end point on the color spectrum would have been. My aunt just loved color!
I told how my hands hurt by the time I was done digging the holes, my side was on fire since I was deep into Chemo at the time and shouldn’t have been doing the heavy lifting in the first place. They line the side of my driveway and see the setting sun every day. I can sit in the kitchen and watch as the blooms catch fire from the combination of Mother Nature and Lary’s hard work.
I haven’t been back to my house in months to see how or if they bloomed in the manner I hoped for. Never asked for a picture to help me understand if they looked right.
It was getting time for my nurse to do her thing, get back to the desk and make sure other’s were as well cared for as I was. She left me with this thought “Maybe you’ve done too much to make up for something that wasn’t your fault. I know all of these things hit quickly, one right after the other. You don’t deserve the beating you are taking, not the one you can’t help or the one you give yourself it seems. Get some rest.”
She changed patients the next night because she had gotten drawn into the narrative. I can respect that, I sometimes do the same thing when I hear other’s speak.
None of my friends, family, business associates know about the derivation of those plants. My mom just thinks I wanted to do something more between the neighbors and my house. Two of those ladies deserve everything I can possibly do to keep their memory alive. The other, I’m no longer objective enough to make that call. Part of me cares too much and part of me doesn’t care at all. Right now, it’s time to just thank that nurse for listening…
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “These Horns Were Made for Tooting.”