At school pickup for my kids, a friend of mine recently asked if I was okay, saying she figured my Facebook posts about having a rough time of it lately had to do with men. “Oh,” I said, “not much going on there. It’s my mother’s cancer.” Her jaw dropped and she hugged me tight. You see, I fell into that trap of thinking that because I’ve told a few people, then you all know and don’t want to hear about it any more. But she made me realize that even people I see several times a week don’t know.
So here’s the deal: The last few weeks, I’ve been coming up out of a months-long depression brought on by dealing with my mother’s terminal cancer. She is prepping for the end, giving things away, having me help her go through stuff, being her friend, as she has been my best friend. The words “it is difficult” are too small.
My summer was spent with my kids and BBC period dramas, hiding, not coping, not writing, not earning, not communicating, barely breathing.
I don’t know why it’s better now, why I’m able to face the page again. But for whatever reason, even as I help Mom as she declines, words are flowing again. You see, it matters.
My mother is the most beautiful person I know. Loving, never bitter, intelligent. But she can point back to places in her life where she chose to do what was expected of her, to reject the Wild, strong woman inside her; and she has some regrets. As I watch and help her deal and find peace, my resolve has only strengthened, to tell this dang story, of how I woke up through risking and moving through fear. Because each life matters.
And to declare your life not worth living, to subsume it, erase it, is, to me, the ultimate wrongheaded arrogance.
I love you all. And I’m going to go write, right now.
If you see me out and about, give me a quick hug, then let me keep going. If I look twitchy, well, that’s because the next Adventure is about the difference between reading trashy romances and literary erotica…I might be a bit torqued. 🙂
Love and hugs. Jene’
p.s. I think getting back into photography via Instagram has helped. If you’re on IG, I’m spiralspiral and would love to connect with you that way! If you’re not but want to see what I’ve been seeing through the camera, go here: http://web.stagram.com/n/spiralspiral/ xoxox
2 thoughts on “Friends, Work, Cancer”
Thank you for mentioning your blog on instagram, for sharing this. I think there’s strength to be found, even in the vulnerability of honesty.
Proud of you.