“Take this piece of paper and write down something you need.”
The question didn’t make sense to me. Therapists ask lots of crazy questions over the course of appointments, but this need a little more direction.
“Not a person, just an idea of what you think is important.”
This was a few weeks after my relationship had resulted in the chorus of a Taylor Swift song “We’re never, ever getting back together!” Only even this sentiment hadn’t been spoken, just silence made it obvious. (It’s not like I had picked up the phone or tried either. Other things needed to be addressed first.)
So she slid a few Post-It Notes over and walked out of the room to give me a few minutes. It took a little thought to capture what I wanted to write. There were other pages to add to, but I knew the answer to the question as soon as the door closed.
When the doctor walked back in, I put the note in her hand. Just a few words that I could tell surprised her. Maybe the response was different from what was expected? Maybe I should have written something else?
“This is what you need? The one thing that you think would make your day better?”
Now I’m completely confused. But I answered the question anyway.
“In my mind this is the one thing that covers so many other areas that when it happens, I honestly know it will be the right place to be or the right person to be around.”
My answer wasn’t the world peace thing or even something that couldn’t be accomplished in a few minutes by someone who honestly wanted to try. And if it weren’t for a small amount of society mistrust and possibly a slightly creepy factor, I know that my niece has done this. So age isn’t a factor in the act, just the situation surrounding it.
This was 18 months ago and I still keep the piece of paper in the back of the case for my phone. Only the doctor and I know it it there. No reason for anyone to remove the back of the phone. It goes with me every place I have been. Not just the words but the concept that I would be at ease when I find it.
Time isn’t on my side with this. It also means that finding the right person to accomplish it has it limits as well. There are plenty of dating sites for various groups, but not one for people with a terminal illness. Cancer Companions? No, that sounds like a Meals on Wheels scenario. For the morbidly amusing, how about Last Date?
What’s on that paper?
For me it encapsulates the simplest thing I can possibly need, but also something so easy that it can’t happen.
If asked, it doesn’t matter what the meal is. Doesn’t matter what the time of day might be. And if I were to be honest about it, I would be happy if it were a peanut butter sandwich on a paper towel placed next me while reading.
The only thing that matters is that someone try. They aren’t guilted into doing something.
When my niece makes dinner for the family, I always smile and know that at some point she is going to be able to do anything. My nephew is too young to be allowed to do much more than cut food and make a salad ( but as a vegetarian, that works!)
When my friends were sick I would make food. Cookies, stupid things like homemade Pop-Tarts. I even know who is allergic to something or hates a particular food. It helps that I like to cook.
When I find that one thing. That one person who can do this simplest of thing for me, even once, I can honestly know that I’m in the right place.